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Truck Driver Arrested for DUII, Initiating False Police Report After Hoax Kidnap Text Message to Company
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
(503) 731-3020 ext 247

Photograph link valid 30 days - Source: Douglas County Sheriff's Office

A commercial truck driver was arrested for initiating a false police report and DUII Wednesday afternoon by Oregon State Police (OSP) after his trucking company contacted OSP reporting the driver texted them saying he was taken hostage. OSP found the man near Canyonville in the vicinity of his abandoned commercial truck and arrested him after the investigation confirmed the story was fabricated.

On June 13, 2012 at approximately 2:30 p.m. OSP Southern Command Center dispatch received a call from a trucking company reporting they received a text message from their driver, THOMAS JAMES CONNER, reporting he was taken hostage by two gun-toting men who took his keys and told him to stay with the truck until they returned to steal it and the load of berries he was transporting.

OSP troopers from the Roseburg Area Command office scrambled south on Interstate 5 to find the truck. One of the troopers made phone contact with CONNER but wasn't able to get a straight story about what happened.

At 2:50 p.m., troopers found the truck on the Interstate 5 southbound near milepost 99. The truck was abandoned with its engine compartment hood up and emergency flashers on. Troopers continued checking the area and found two men, one identified as CONNER, walking about a quarter mile from the truck.

Subsequent investigation revealed CONNER and the other man, a confirmed unauthorized truck passenger, were too intoxicated to drive and made up the story.

CONNER, age 33, from Bellingham, Washington, was arrested and transported to Douglas County Jail and booked for DUII and Initiating a False Police Report. He was also cited for Unlawful Possession of an Open Container. He was driving for Anker Trucking out of Washington State.

The male passenger was not arrested or cited.