Arrest made in string of Wood Village thefts and break-ins

Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 6:39 PM PDT
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WOOD VILLAGE, Ore. (KPTV) - A 35-year-old man, Johnnie Lewes Thomas, was arrested over the weekend after breaking into multiple homes and cars at the Wood Village Town Center on NE Glisan Street. He then ran into a mobile home park attempting to break into multiple homes.

Neighbors told FOX 12, that Thomas attempted to break into at least four homes in the complex on Arata Road but with a collective effort, they were able to help Multnomah Sheriff’s deputies catch him without anyone getting hurt.

It happened just before 5 p.m. Saturday, when MCSO arrived and found Thomas trying to break into a car. Thomas then ran into the home of a woman asking for water. He then jumped a fence, into the Wood Village Green Mobile Home Park and into the home of Kelly Huffman. Huffman said he was watching TV when suddenly, he heard his back door swing open. That’s when he saw Thomas coming toward him.

“He was pretty erratic, to be honest. And finally, between the dog and myself, we got him down on the floor,” says Huffman. “We held him here for a while and that’s when I made the decision to call my neighbors over to help me out.”

Neighbor, Donald Johnston, was checking on his parents, who are disabled, because of the heat wave. His dad heard his neighbor yelling for help and that’s when Johnston ran over.

“There’s a gentleman on the ground bleeding. He said he attacked him,” says Johnston.

Johnston, who has tactical training, took action.

“I asked him if he had any weapons, and he said no,” says Johnston.

The suspect asked for help and for some water, but that’s when things took a turn.

“By the time I went to the house and got him some water out of the fridge he turned around and he had my wallet and my keys in his hand. He said he needed a ride ASAP.”

But Johnston, who is licensed to carry, felt threatened and grabbed his firearm.

“I then had pulled it up, I cocked it, put it toward him and he dropped my stuff and he ran,” says Johnston. “He ran into a shed and the police department told me to put my firearm down and retreat to my house and unload so I did.”

The suspect ran into another home where police arrested him. Johnston is now being called a hero by his community.

“It feels uncomfortable. I don’t feel like I was a hero. I just feel like I was aware and on top of the situation,” says Johnston. “It’s a different feeling when you actually are in a situation where you might have to hurt somebody. To be stuck in that situation was kind of uncomfortable, but I was ready to help law enforcement.”

Thomas has been charged with multiple counts including burglary and trespassing. Deputies later found that Thomas has a felony out of Washington state for child sex abuse and remains in custody.