Mark Kloppel.

Courtesy photo.

A man accused of stealing a semi-truck in the Coburg, Oregon area before running from law enforcement in the Garibaldi has been arrested in Clatsop County.

Mark Kloppel was charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle stemming from an alleged Eugene, Oregon-area recreational vehicle theft in an Aug. 27 arrest. A spokeswoman for Clatsop County Sheriff’s Offices confirmed that Kloppel faces new charges unrelated to a Tillamook County allegation of vehicle theft.

A passenger in the stolen semi-truck Kloppel was accused of taking was arrested after a multi-agency search on Aug. 22 in Garibaldi. Tillamook 911 had received a report from a caller who was following a white semi with Gothard Farms markings headed north on Highway 101.

A press release from Tillamook County Sheriff’s Office (TCSO) said the caller reported the truck matched one described in a post on Facebook’s #TIMBERUNITY page regarding a vehicle theft around 17 hours earlier in Coburg, Oregon. The caller continued to provide updates on the truck’s location until it was observed by law enforcement in Garibaldi.

TCSO said a deputy kept the truck in sight while waiting for backup units to arrive. The truck was confirmed as stolen out of Coburg, but before backup arrived, the man who was driving stopped on First Street in Garibaldi and fled, heading east on foot. A woman passenger exited the truck and remained at the scene.

Additional officers arrived, and TCSO said a thorough search of the area was conducted but the suspected thief, later identified by law enforcement as Kloppel, was not found. Rockaway Beach and Manzanita Police Department assisted in the search, which was terminated around 6 p.m. The semi-truck was towed for safekeeping until it could be returned to the owner.

The passenger, Rhonda Hawkins, was initially arrested for unauthorized entry of a motor vehicle and taken to the Tillamook County Correctional Facility. That charge was later dropped, but she now faces a felony identity theft charge in Tillamook County. She was released on bail. Hawkins had two dogs that were taken to the Tillamook K9 Rescue.

Charges of unauthorized use of a vehicle and possession of a stolen vehicle await Kloppel in Tillamook County, according to court documents.

A Comco Carpet Cleaning van was reported stolen in the Garibaldi area the following morning. Unconfirmed reports said the van was recovered in the Eugene area. No suspects were identified in that alleged theft.


(1) comment


He dressed for the occasion

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