Sheriff’s Office Makes More Arrests in Evacuation Zones

Deputies with the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office are continuing their enhanced patrols of areas that have been evacuated due to the ongoing wildfires, and have made several more arrests.

Paul Theodore Nichols.
On the afternoon on Sept. 15, deputies responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle — a white Ford Taurus pulling into multiple driveways in the area of Spangler Road near Beavercreek.

Deputies located the suspect off Highway 213, in Wagon Wheel Park. The vehicle’s tags were expired and its passenger tail light was out, police said.

In the vehicle were Paul Theodore Nichols, 32, and Taleina Renee Johnson, 32 — both of whom are “well-known to local authorities,” according to the sheriff’s office.

In the back seat was a Stihl leaf-blower, which turned out to be stolen, and a number of bags.

Clackamas County K9 officer Grimm.

Clackamas County K9 officer Grimm was present at the call and is trained and certified to detect cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine. Grimm alerted on the vehicle, and deputies reportedly located methamphetamine in Johnson’s purse.

Nichols was allegedly in possession of a stolen Pacific Pride gas card and heroin. Police believe the stolen leaf-blower may have been part of a spate of yard tool thefts that occurred in the area during the county’s state of emergency.

The pair were transported to the Clackamas County Jail without incident, and the vehicle was towed.

Stolen yard tools recovered by Clackamas County.

In another incident, a property owner off Marquam Circle, south of Molalla, called to report a suspicious car parked on his property when he showed up to check on his place.

The suspicious vehicle — a blue Ford Focus sedan — ended up being a stolen car out of Molalla.

Sometime between Sept. 10 and Sept. 12, the Ford had been stolen from a Molalla residence while the owner was evacuated. The owner had returned to her residence to find her vehicle missing.

The vehicle was returned to its owner.

There are currently no suspects in this case. Anyone with tips is encouraged to contact the Sheriff’s Office using the tip line at 503-723-4949 or online. Please reference CCSO case no. 20-019642.

The stolen vehicle was returned to its owner in Molalla.

Between Sept. 8 and Sept. 15, deputies made 13 arrests in level 2 and 3 evacuation zones, on charges that include criminal trespass, burglary, possession of burglary tools, recklessly endangering, theft, unlawful possession of a firearm, attempt to elude and resisting arrest.

Thirty-five criminal reports have been taken, police said, and there have been 470 calls that deputies themselves initiated, including 76 subject stops, 72 premise checks, 166 traffic stops and 156 suspicious vehicle stops

The Sheriff’s Office is investigating and following up on all criminal complaints. Officers continue to encourage people to send reports of criminal activity.

Anyone directly witnessing criminal activity in progress should contact the Sheriff’s Office by calling 911 (emergencies only) and the Sheriff’s Non-Emergency Line at 503-655-8211 to report crimes not in progress.

Tips on suspected criminal activity can also be submitted to the Sheriff’s Office Tip Line at 503-723-4949 or online.

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