A man whose booking photo and charges were widely shared on social media amid claims (discounted by police) of arsonists spreading wildfires in the county was actually arrested for burning clothes inside a Fred Meyer store Monday.
On Labor Day (Monday, Sept. 7), Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a report that a suspect had ignited clothing articles on a merchandise rack at the Clackamas Fred Meyer.
Deputies obtained images of the suspect from store cameras, according to a media release Saturday.
On Sept. 11, deputies spotted the suspect — later identified as Ignat Shchetinin, 37 — on Highway 212 and 82nd Drive in Clackamas, near the same Fred Meyer.
When contacted, Mr. Shchetinin confessed to intentionally igniting the clothing inside the Fred Meyer, using a purple Bic-style lighter, police said. He reportedly told deputies he did this to get the attention of a person who wouldn’t speak with him.
Deputies also discovered Mr. Shchetinin possessed a baggie of methamphetamine.
Ignat Shchetinin was transported to Clackamas County Jail on charges including first-degree arson and possession of methamphetamine. Bail was set at $250,000.
Shchetinin’s mug shot and arson charge were widely shared on Facebook Friday as evidence of arsonists causing wildfires and to suggest that the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office was being untruthful in saying they had made no such arrests.
Another alleged arsonist whose name made the rounds on social media Friday, adding fuel to the speculation about politically motivated arsonists was Sammy Piatt, 53. Authorities also shared details on his case Saturday.
Piatt was arrested by the Oregon City Police Department Friday afternoon after officers say he lit a pile of leaves on fire near the Clackamas County Community Solutions building.
The investigation started after a Clackamas County probation officer observed smoke coming from the area of the steps to the Community Solutions building. Piatt was reportedly standing near the fire and was detained.
The fire was quickly put out by probation officers using a handheld extinguisher. The fire was approximately 10 feet from the building and did not result in any damage, police said.
Piatt admitted to lighting the leaves on fire, OCPD reported. He was arrested without incident for second-degree arson and probation violation. He is currently lodged at the Clackamas County Jail and is transient.
Reached later Saturday, Canby Police Chief Bret Smith told the Current that Piatt has had run-ins with local law enforcement before and has a history of starting small fires in brush and Dumpsters.
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