Arson suspect evades deputies in west Eugene

The search for the suspect is continuing in west Eugene after a chase that started in Veneta.

Posted: Sep 28, 2021 12:07 PM
Updated: Sep 28, 2021 2:57 PM

VENETA, Ore. – A vehicle linked to several recent crimes was spotted in Veneta Tuesday morning, but authorities say the suspect got away.

The Lane County Sheriff’s Office said a deputy spotted the yellow Nissan Sentra just before 10:30 a.m. in the area of Highway 126 and Ellmaker Road. They believe the car is tied to a string of crimes including arson.

When the deputy tried to stop the vehicle, the driver sped off eastbound on the highway, authorities said. It reportedly hit a van near the intersection of West 11th Avenue and Bertelsen Road before heading north.

Deputies lost sight of the vehicle, but it was later found near Fairfield Avenue and Wood Avenue. However, no one was inside.

Authorities are searching the area for the suspect, who they believe is Branden Paul Sherrill, 38. They said he is white and possibly was wearing a dark gray jacket. Residents should report any suspicious activity. Anyone with information should contact the sheriff's office at 541-682-4150 opt. 1. 

Meanwhile, the driver of the van that was hit is not believed to have suffered any serious injuries.

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