Skip to Content

Driver of stolen pickup flees Redmond traffic stop; 2 face charges


(Editor’s note: A third person named in the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office news release was not charged with a crime and has been removed from the article.)

A driver who avoided a traffic stop in downtown Redmond on Sunday afternoon tried to hide the stolen pickup in an alley and fled, prompting a search of the area, police said. He later surrendered at a Redmond home after hearing the bark of a Deschutes County sheriff’s K-9 that was about to be deployed.

Another man surrendered and was arrested there as well.

A Deschutes County sheriff’s deputy spotted a red 1996 Nissan Frontier, its bed loaded with firewood, shortly before 2 p.m. and tried to pull it over for expired license plates, sheriff’s Lt. Mike Biondi said.

But the driver, identified as Dean Floyd Morkert, 46, avoided the deputy and tried to hide the pickup in an alley near Northwest Birch Avenue and Fourth Street, Biondi said.

The deputy found the pickup just as Morkert was walking away. Upon seeing the approaching deputy, Morkert ran north from the alley, crossing through yards in the neighborhood. More deputies and Redmond police responded to the area to help look for the driver.

Deputies also learned the pickup had been stolen in Gresham on Nov. 1, Biondi said.

A K-9 was requested, and Deputy Jeremiah Johnson and his K-9 partner, Ezel, were called in to help in the search.

It was learned Morkert might be headed to another home on North Canal Boulevard.

A Redmond officer saw a man fitting Morkert’s description enter the home.

Several deputies and others went to the home, and after numerous attempts to get Morkert to come out, “Ezel was utilized to bark and announce his presence,” Biondi said in a news release.

After hearing Ezel and “being told he was going to be utilized” to search the home, the other Redmond man inside, Garret Leeper, 25, came out, followed a short time later by Morkert, both taken into custody without incident, Biondi said.

Morkert and Leeper were lodged in the Deschutes County Jail. Morkert was held on $10,000 bail, facing a charge of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, while Leeper was held without bail on a probation violation for a previous car theft conviction.

Court records show Morkert has had numerous driving-related charges over the past 30 years, mostly violations for driving with a suspended license and without insurance, most recently cited in October, as well as marijuana and methamphetamine possession, criminal trespass and DUII.

Leeper pleaded guilty nearly a year ago to unauthorized use of a vehicle and other charges and was sentenced to 75 days in jail, three years probation and a one-year driver’s license suspension. as well as more than $23,000 in restitution.

Article Topic Follows: News

Jump to comments ↓

KTVZ News Team


KTVZ NewsChannel 21 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content