On November 5, 2017, EPD Officer Bryan Inman responded to Lithia Dodge on MLK Blvd after a burglary was reported, with the theft of a new 2018 Dodge 2500 Laramie 4x4 truck. It was discovered that approximately 300 keys were stolen from the dealership during the burglary as well.
The estimated value of the stolen keys exceeded $70,000 and the stolen truck was valued over $55,000. This theft would have been catastrophic and expensive if the dealership had to rekey every vehicle on the sales lot.
A salesman at the dealership reported that a week prior to the theft, a suspicious male had attempted to have the dealership make some new keys for a few new cars. The dealership denied the request and the suspect left the area. The alert salesman took a photograph of the suspect and provided this to Officer Inman.
Eugene Police officers were able to identify the suspect as Aaron Alan Harney, age 28, of Eugene. Then, on
November 6, 2017, at about 6:53 a.m., an area security guard in downtown Eugene called in a suspicious vehicle found inside a parking garage. Officer Glenn Gilhuber responded and located the 2018 Dodge 2500 Laramie 4x4. While waiting for a Lithia Dodge employee to respond to recover the truck, Harney walked past Officers Gilhuber and Inman in the parking garage. Officer Gilhuber immediately recognized Harney from the photograph provided by the alert salesman from the week before.
They arrested Harney without incident on charges of Unauthorized Use Motor Vehicle, Burglary in the Second degree and Aggravated Theft in the First Degree, and in addition to the truck, officers recovered a large number of keys and evidence in the case.