Deputies Bust Suspects Engaged in Tool, Vehicle Heists near Mulino

The Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office and Molalla Police Department arrested three suspects Friday afternoon allegedly taking advantage of homes and properties in the Mulino area that had been evacuated due to the encroaching Riverside Fire.

James Dean Shotwell.
Deputies on enhanced patrols were dispatched to the area on a report of two suspicious individuals walking onto a property on Ringo Road.

After an investigation, deputies reportedly determined that James Dean Shotwell and Sandy Faye Lenox, both 34, had stolen two gas-powered generators, a box of hand tools including a cordless drill, two leaf blowers, and at least one gas can from a neighboring property.

Shotwell and Lenox were each arrested and transported to Clackamas County Jail on charges of first-degree theft and second-degree burglary.

Sandy Faye Lennox.
During the investigation, a stolen John Deere Gator side-by-side utility vehicle was also located in a nearby wooded area, police said. Shotwell reportedly had the key to this stolen utility vehicle in his pocket.

The John Deere had been stolen out of Molalla, and Molalla PD made an additional arrest of another suspect in that case: Duane Schlip, 56, of Molalla.

According to The Oregonian, Schlip tried to burglarize a local towing company, and then stole a utility terrain vehicle from a locked facility at Molalla Middle School Thursday.

Officers arrested Schlip while he was “casing neighborhoods,” according to police.

Schlip was charged with attempted burglary, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and first-degree theft.

More stolen property was also located at the address, including a Polaris Ranger side-by-side utility vehicle.

Deputies are currently seeking to reunite stolen items with victims. If you’re missing a Polaris Ranger or have had other property recently stolen in the area, contact the Sheriff’s Office at 503-655-8211 or 503-723-4949, and reference CCSO case no. 20-019516.

Duane Schlip.
Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office deputies continue to step up their patrols of impacted areas and evacuated zones during the Clackamas wildfires, watching for potential burglaries and other criminal activity.

From Sept. 8-10, deputies responded to nearly 330 calls in the county’s level 2 and level 3 evacuation areas — a 405% increase over the number of calls fielded on Sept. 5-7. Most of these calls were related to reports of suspicious vehicles and people and concerns about potential burglaries, police said. The vast majority were determined to be non-criminal in nature.

The increased patrols have resulted in 10 arrests on 16 offenses — including DUII, theft, violation of restraining order, domestic violence (harassment and felony strangulation), possession of heroin and meth, and criminal trespass.

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