TIGARD, Ore. (KOIN) — Police and tactical units surrounded a Toys R Us store in Tigard Thursday afternoon and into the evening — eventually finding the man they were looking for hiding 30-feet in the air.
Tigard police said a call came in around 3:55 p.m. about a fraud-in-progress at Washington Square Mall. Initial reports were that the suspect was armed. However, authorities have not found a weapon.
The fraud suspect left before police could get there – taking off on foot through the mall parking lot and across Highway 217 during the evening rush hour.
Police evacuated the Toys R Us store at 10065 SW Cascade Boulevard, believing he was hiding there. Customers and employees were evacuated to the neighboring Suburban Propane store as police conducted their search.
Shortly after 7 p.m. Thursday, a suspect — identified by Tigard Police as 33-year-old Loren Parham of San Francisco — was taken into custody.
“[M]embers of the Washington County Tactical Negotiation Team (TNT) searched the interior of Toys R Us,” Tigard Police reported. “Parham was found concealed atop a 30-foot storage rack — amongst a field of boxes and merchandise.”
According to a Tigard Police news release, “Parham and an accomplice, 21 year-old Geraldine Curiel, of Fairview, California were allegedly involved in a string of multiple felony acts of theft, identity theft, credit card fraud, forgery at various retailers at Washington Square Mall earlier today. A Tigard investigator who happened to be inside the mall, was tipped off of their activity by mall security.”
Curiel was taken into custody by Tigard Police shortly after Parham fled the mall, police said.
“The Tigard Police Commercial Crimes Unit is continuing this investigation,” according to the Tigard Police release. “Both Parham and Curiel will be lodged in the Washington County Jail.”
Parham is charged with multiple counts of theft. Curiel is charged with more than 15 counts of fraud, forgery, credit card fraud and identity theft. According to Tigard Police, “Other charges are pending.”