Central Point man chases after car thieves

Central Point, Ore. —   A pair of transients are behind bars tonight, accused of stealing a family’s car from their driveway. It happened Wednesday morning in Central Point.

The suspects were caught a short time later, thanks in part to a pursuit that ensued within seconds of the suspects taking off. But that chase wasn’t prompted by police.

“I was that guy that said ‘well it’ll never happen to me we just live in Central Point’ but that changed,” Steve Strohman says.

A typical morning for Steve and Jennifer Strohman, became anything but, on Wednesday.

“I start my car, put most of my stuff in,” Steve says.

“We came out to the front to say bye to Steve,” his wife Jennifer adds.

“We’re both here standing at the door, I see the people, and I see my car, driving away,” Steve explains.

Without a second thought, Steve took off after them.  With 9-1-1 on the line, and police en route, Steve followed them all the way to a field off Rossanley Drive. His car was ditched, and the suspects were taking off, but Central Point police found them not far away.

Police don’t recommend following in Steve’s footsteps.

“It worked out great in this situation we were able to get everyone into custody,” Lt. Chadd Griffin says, “but somebody that steals a vehicle you never know how desperate they are, what’s going on with them if they’re armed.”

But Steve says he’d do it all over again if he needed to.

“Oh absolutely, yeah, I definitely would, why not?” Steve says.

Insurance is still trying to assess the damage, but the car did have to be towed from the scene. The Strohman’s say it’s an unfortunate reminder that you can’t leave your car unattended even for a second.

Police arrested Stephanie Wilson and Curtis Engle in connection with the case. They are facing a slew of charges including unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, reckless driving, criminal mischief, criminal trespass and meth and heroin charges.

Kristin Hosfelt anchors NBC5 News at 6 with NBC5 News Director Craig Smullin. Kristin is originally from the Bay Area. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Broadcast Journalism from San Jose State University.

She comes to KOBI-TV/NBC5 from Bangor, Maine where she was the evening news anchor. Kristin has won multiple journalism awards including Best Feature Reporting in the State of Maine.

When Kristin is not sharing the news she's hunting down the best burrito, hiking a local trail or buried in a Jodi Picoult novel. She's also a Green Bay Packers shareholder! If you see her out and about she'd be happy to tell you how a California girl became a Cheesehead.

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