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Citizen tips help police nab SW Bend fugitive

By Barney Lerten
Published On: Mar 02 2014 08:20:41 PM CST
Updated On: Mar 02 2014 10:40:40 PM CST
Abandoned car/SW Bend

Femi Abebefe/KTVZ.COM; Deschutes County Jail

Car pursued by Deschutes County sheriff's deputy was found abandoned in SW Bend Sunday afternoon, prompting a manhunt that had area residents calling 911 with tips and led to arrest of Brian Matthew Fee

BEND, Ore. -

A Deschutes County sheriff’s deputy’s pursuit of a car driven by a wanted man in southwest Bend was called off after a few minutes Sunday afternoon. But the car was found abandoned minutes later, prompting a citizen tip-fueled search by numerous officers around the Romaine Village neighborhood that led to him being found hiding behind a shop.

Around 2:10 p.m., in the area of Brookswood Boulevard and Larkwood Drive, the deputy spotted a silver 1995 Saturn sedan occupied by two people, including driver Brian Matthew Fee, 48, of Bend, who was wanted on a felony warrant for probation violation, said Sgt. Aaron Harding.

The deputy tried to pull Fee’s car over, but he took off at a high rate of speed, triggering a short pursuit through the residential area that was terminated for safety reasons, deputies said.

The deputy soon found the empty Saturn at the corner of Lodgepole and Fox Hills Drive, Harding said. Bystanders said Fee had run from the scene.

County 911 dispatchers received several calls from residents of the area, offering information about Fee’s direction of travel.

Information also was shared among residents on KTVZ.COM's Facebook page, including Candice Wagner's report: "OMG he was hiding in my shed! Cops going up and down the street, so I thought I would look in my car (because) I didnt lock it, and then I checked the little shed, the door was locked but we never lock it.

"I pulled, it came open I saw a guy in the corner!" Wagner wrote. "I screamed, ran in the house, called 911, my husband chased him to where he went toward Romaine Village."

With the help of Bend police and Oregon State Police, Fee eventually was found hiding behind a shop in the area and taken into custody without incident.

Harding said the unknown passenger also seen running from the car was “not of interest at this time and is not believed to present a danger to the public.”

Fee was lodged in the county jail and held without bail on the felony probation violation warrant, also charged with felony and misdemeanor attempt to elude, reckless driving and reckless endangerment.

Fee also made the news in August 2012 as one of three Bend residents arrested after a traffic stop led to a raid on a home and the seizure of more than $13,000 worth of methamphetamine, along with cash, guns and other items.

He was a passenger who police said jumped out and ran from the car at the corner of NE Fifth Street and Olney Avenue, but was caught in an alley a short distance away. He was held without bail that time, also on a parole violation charge.

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