Woman Sentenced for Burglaries amid Clackamas County Wildfires

A 35-year-old woman has been sentenced to more than seven years in prison for her role in several burglaries that happened in evacuated areas of Clackamas County during the destructive September 2020 wildfires.

Late last month, Sandy Faye Lenox pleaded guilty to multiple charges, including first- and second-degree burglary, theft and attempted burglary, according to the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office.

The investigation began on Sept. 11, 2020, when deputies were patroling evacuation zones in Clackamas County during the wildfires — and were dispatched to a report that two suspicious people may have been seen trespassing on a property on Ringo Road near Mulino.

According to CCSO, deputies found several suspects, among them were James Dean Shotwell and Lenox, both 34 at the time.

Based on their investigation, authorities say the two suspects stole gas-powered generators, a box of tools including a cordless drill, leaf blowers, and a least one gas can from a neighboring property. Both were arrested and charged with theft and burglary. But the investigation continued.

Deputies recovered more stolen goods following the arrests, and new cases developed with additional charges filed against Lenox.

Deputies recovered a trove of stolen items, including jewelry and antique coins.

A stolen John Deere Gator side-by-side utility vehicle was located in a nearby wooded area — with the key to the stolen vehicle later being recovered in Shotwell’s pocket.

The John Deere, which was reported stolen out of Molalla, led to the recovery of more stolen property, including a Polaris Ranger side-by-side utility vehicle.

Shotwell pleaded guilty to second-degree burglary and first-degree theft in November 2020 and was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Deputies recovered a trove of stolen items, including jewelry and antique coins.

Clackamas County deputies found “a trove of additional stolen items” in a search of Lenox’s car, from jewelry, collectible coins, medals and gems, to a laptop, sewing machine and other household appliances.

Authorities say these valuables were linked to several other local burglary cases and returned to their owners. Many of the victims had evacuated their homes during the wildfires, police said.

After pleading guilty to multiple charges on Sept. 21, 2021, Lenox was sentenced to 90 months in prison on Tuesday.

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