Portland Police have arrested a city Transportation Bureau employee for her alleged role in a wide-reaching conspiracy to steal abandoned cars and crush them for scrap metal.

The arrest was first reported this afternoon by The Oregonian.

Barbara Lorraine Peterson, 53, was arrested after she arrived at her job this morning at the Portland Bureau of Transportation Abandoned Auto Section.

The arrest comes after police raided the West Coast Car Crushing company earlier this month, as part of an 11-agency investigation. They learned Peterson was allegedly tipping off a car thief to abandoned vehicles. The car thief would in turn tow the cars to West Coast Car Crushing, where they would be crushed and sold for scrap.

Peterson is being held on charges of official misconduct, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and conspiracy to commit unlawful use of a motor vehicle.