Two men were arrested Thursday for alleged looting in the Detroit area during the Beachie Creek Fire that has devastated an estimated 182,000 acres in Marion County and the greater Santiam Canyon.
The Marion County Sheriff’s Office responded at approximately 10:11 a.m. on Thursday to a report of a suspicious van in the area near Detroit. Fire crews also reported seeing the van earlier in the town of Idahna and were concerned it was involved in the recent lootings.
Deputies located the van near the Gates area driving at a high rate of speed. Marion County deputies along with the Linn County Sheriff’s Office and the Oregon State Police pursued the vehicle; as reports confirmed the vehicle was in fact involved in the recent lootings. The pursuit continued westbound on Highway 22, taking the exit into the Stayton/Sublimity areas.
The suspect vehicle drove onto and through the golf course while deputies set up near Sublimity and successfully deployed spike strips and disabled the vehicle. Two male suspects ran from the vehicle, according to police.
With the assistance of Linn County’s K-9 and other nearby agencies, one suspect was immediately located and taken into custody near the golf course. At the time he was seen as attempting to break into a home.
The other male was seen going into a goat shed near the Golf Lane SE area. He was located by a Linn County Sheriff’s Office K9 unit. Both suspects were taken into custody and identified as Anthony Travis Bodda, 21, and Alexander Justin Jones, 36.
“I am disappointed that while in a state of emergency these people would victimize members of our community,” Marion County Sheriff Joe Kast said. “The women and men of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office are committed to holding people accountable if they chose to victimize residents from our evacuated areas. We will continue to patrol evacuated areas and do our best to protect these areas from criminal behavior.”
Both were lodged at the Marion County Jail on a public safety override on the following charges: attempted theft in the first degree, burglary in the second degree, felony elude, attempted misdemeanor elude, and reckless driving, interfering with a peace officer, possession of a burglary tool, reckless endangering, criminal mischief in the first degree and criminal trespass in the second degree.
Several items were recovered from inside the suspect vehicle and it is estimated that the damage caused to the golf course is $1,500.
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