Neighbor chases down Oregon City car prowlers, almost gets stabbed

Robert Sparks says a neighbor warned him someone was trying to break into his car (in the background) Super Bowl Sunday. (KATU Photo)

Once people move to Oregon City, they don't seem to leave.

“No crime, no people yelling at each other, or anything. It's just a nice quiet neighborhood,” said Tom Hunt.

Hunt has lived on J. Q. Adams Street for 20 years.

Neighbors there say they feel safe leaving their doors unlocked. At least, they did.

Robert Sparks says the night of the Super Bowl, his neighbor from across the street knocked on his door to give him a warning.

“My neighbor had seen people attempt to break into my car, my parents' car and my neighbor's car,” said Sparks.

The neighbor had told him he chased two guys from Sparks’ home, through the alley, and toward the Oregon City Stadium.

“[He] got one of them into a chokehold to stop him, and the other one then grabbed a knife and tried to stab him,” said Sparks.

No one got hurt, and the two men took off; one them ran through Dane Rowinski's yard.

“I heard some tires squealing or something, just a little bit of commotion. I came out to snoop around and I heard, 'Yeah, he tried to stab me,’” said Rowinski.

He says he watched the man hop over his fence, and snap off a couple of boards.

“Just hearing that somebody was trying to stab somebody else brought it into really sharp focus, all of a sudden, and just gave me the creeps and made me want to get out of there,” said Rowinski.

None of his neighbors got anything stolen, but they’re worried it won’t end well the next time.

“I can't believe that was happening in this neighborhood. That doesn't happen here,” said Sparks.

“Looks like we're going to have to watch out from now on,” said Hunt.

Oregon City police do not have descriptions of these two men.

A captain with the Oregon Police Department says there’s been a slight increase in car prowls in the area involving unlocked doors. The best advice is to keep all doors locked and don’t leave anything out that’s valuable inside your car.

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