Over the last several months police officers with the City of Bend started noticing a trend of stolen vehicles, particularly centered around Honda passenger cars, including one vehicle stolen in Sisters.

Reports of stolen vehicles similar to those continued to be reported throughout December and January. Officers have recovered several vehicles, and have been able to connect six vehicles as being stolen by two different people.

Joshua Alan Day, 19, and Troy William Thornton, 24, both of Bend, have been arrested and charged with the unauthorized use of stolen vehicles. Three of the six were stolen from Bend, while one was stolen from Sisters, one from Redmond, and one from Eureka, California.

On Saturday, January 30, officers with the Bend Police Department recovered a 1992 Honda Civic after the occupant of the vehicle eluded officers. Bend Police located the vehicle stolen out of Eureka, California, and conducted an investigation into the theft. Several items that were determined to be stolen were recovered from inside the vehicle.

Officers are still working on connecting this property with victims throughout the area.

Later on Saturday, January 30, Bend Police Officers and the members of the Central Oregon Emergency Response Team worked to recover a stolen 1999 GMC Sierra. Joshua Day was arrested for this incident and a subsequent investigation showed he is responsible for a variety of charges stemming from this multiweek investigation.

On Wednesday, February 3, Bend Police Officers working on this investigation identified a location for Troy Thornton. Troy had an arrest warrant for parole violation and was a primary suspect in recent stolen vehicle cases. Thornton was located at a residence in northeast Bend. Officers saw Thornton in a vehicle (not stolen) and attempted to stop the vehicle. The vehicle briefly eluded officers and stopped in the parking lot of Juniper Swim and Fitness Center. Thornton — who was the passenger — and the female driver fled from the vehicle. Thornton was contacted and arrested without incident near Juniper Park.

So far during this investigation, three stolen firearms have been recovered and six stolen vehicles have been recovered. The vehicles recovered include a 2006 Toyota Tacoma, stolen in Redmond, 1999 GMC Sierra, 1992 Honda Accord, 1997 Honda Accord, 1997 Honda Civic, 1997 Honda CRV, and a Toyota Tundra, stolen in Sisters.

Day was lodged at the Deschutes County Jail for five counts of Unauthorized Use Of A Motor Vehicle (UUMV); Felony Elude; Misdemeanor Elude; Interfering with a Police Officer; Reckless Driving; two counts of Theft I and Theft II; three counts of Theft III; Unlawful Carry of a Weapon; Criminal Mischief II; three counts of Unauthorized Entry into a Motor Vehicle; two counts of Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card and two counts of Identity Theft.

Thornton was lodged at the Deschutes County Jail for one count of UUMV.

As this investigation continues, it is anticipated additional charges will be forthcoming for both Day and Thornton.

The Bend Police Department reports that data analysis of stolen vehicle cases indicates:

• That about 25 percent of the time vehicles were stolen, the keys had been left inside the vehicle.

• Vehicles were left unlocked in approximately 31.7 percent of cases and an additional 12.9 percent of victims were unaware if their car was locked or not. In 21.8 percent of the remaining cases, officers could not determine if a vehicle had been unlocked or not.

• Some of the stolen vehicles had weapons, such as handguns or rifles, left inside the car by the owner.

• About 35 percent of the time vehicles were stolen from a street or alleyway and about 20 percent of the time vehicles were stolen from a parking lot or public driveway.

• The most common brand of vehicles stolen in Bend are Honda, Subaru, Toyota, and Ford.

• Most vehicles were stolen between 5 and 6 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

• It is believed a high number of vehicles are stolen when people are starting their cars and leave them unattended while the vehicle warms up.