CLACKAMAS COUNTY, OR (KPTV) - The Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office made 21 arrests in Level 2 and Level 3 wildfire evacuation zones between Sept. 8 and Sept. 21.
Deputies said they took 54 criminal reports during that time and made 743 self-initiated activity calls that included 99 subject stops, 99 premise checks, 295 traffic stops and 253 suspicious vehicle stops.
Deputies also conducted 94 welfare checks to follow up on possible missing people.
The 21 arrests included charges of criminal trespass, burglary, theft, recklessly endangering, felon in possession of a restricted weapon, resisting arrest, possession of heroin and meth and interfering with a peace officer.
The sheriff’s office on Monday detailed some of the cases. The sheriff's office also previously detailed arrests over a one-week span in the fire zones.
STOLEN CAR IN EVACUATION ZONE
On Sept. 13, a property owner south of Molalla called to report a suspicious car parked on his property when he went to check on his home.
Deputies learned the car, a blue Ford Focus, was reported stolen from a Molalla home while the owner was evacuated. The owner had returned to finder her car missing and reported it to the sheriff’s office.
Deputies said the car has now been returned to the rightful owner, but there are not yet any suspects in the case. Anyone with information is asked to use the sheriff’s office tip line at 503-723-4949 or https://www.clackamas.us/sheriff/tip and reference case # 20-019642.
SUSPICIOUS VEHICLE, CHASE, DRUG ARRESTS
Deputies responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle at 8:47 a.m. Sept. 13 near South Springwater Road and Feldheimer Road in a Level 3 (go now) evacuation area. The vehicle was said to have gas cans on its exterior.
A deputy located the vehicle and conducted a traffic stop due to a faulty brake light. The driver slowly came to a stop, but as the deputy walked toward the vehicle, the driver sped away.
A chase ensued, with an Oregon State Police trooper deploying spike strips. A deputy also attempted an unsuccessful PIT maneuver.
“However, it apparently encouraged the driver to abandon his flight, as he stopped his vehicle and surrendered,” according to the sheriff’s office.
The driver stated he fled because he was scared and believed he had a warrant for his arrest. He said he was in the area to help his dad move, but he was unable to provide his dad's address, according to deputies.
A search of the vehicle led to the discovery of heroin, methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, a dagger, an air-powered replica pistol, an assortment of shaved vehicle keys, a single firework and various tools.
Two people in the car were arrested. Ryan Burnette, 31, of Vancouver, was driving the car and was arrested on charges including attempt to elude a police officer, possession of heroin, possession of meth, felon in possession of restricted weapon and possession of burglary tools.
The passenger, Justin Valente, 32, of Portland was arrested on charges of possession of meth, possession of heroin, felon in possession of a restricted weapon and possession of burglary tools.
K-9 ASSIST, DRUGS AND STOLEN TOOLS RECOVERED
Another suspicious vehicle report was made the afternoon of Sept. 15. A white Ford Taurus pulled into multiple driveways in the Beavercreek area near Spangler Road and Beavercreek Road.
The car was found in Wagon Wheel Park off Highway 213. It had expired tags and the passenger side taillight was out.
Deputies contacted two people in the car, saying that Paul Theodore Nichols, 32, and Taleina Renee Johnson, 32, are both well known to local authorities.
K-9 Grimm was present at the call and alerted to drugs. Deputies said meth was then found in Johnson’s purse. A leaf blower in the back seat was also stolen, according to deputies, possibly as part of a spate of tool thefts in the area during the county’s state of emergency.
Additionally, deputies said Nichols had a stolen gas card and heroin.
Both suspects were arrested and the vehicle was towed from the scene.
Anyone with additional information about Nichols and Johnson are asked to contact the sheriff’s office tip line at 503-723-4949 or https://www.clackamas.us/sheriff/tip and reference case 20-019802.
“The Sheriff's Office is investigating and following up on all criminal complaints. We continue to encourage people to send reports to us of criminal activity. Anyone directly witnessing criminal activity in progress should contact to the Sheriff's Office by calling 911 (IMPORTANT: FOR EMERGENCIES ONLY) and the Sheriff's Non-Emergency Line at 503-655-8211 to report crimes not in progress,” according to the sheriff’s office.
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