Arrests by a joint law enforcement task force may have solved a wire theft from Portland Memorial Mausoleum which took place in November of last year.
On April 11th, the Oregon State Police announced that the prior arrests of a Southeast Portland resident, Hannah Elizabeth Holmes, age 23, and a man described as her boyfriend, Robert Christopher Barnett, age 35, for other similar crimes, may have solved the local theft, and announced that a third suspect was also identified in the Portland Memorial theft - Christopher Miller, age 30, of Portland, who is still being sought.
Holmes and Barnett were arrested for on a variety of highway metal theft and criminal mischief charges on February 22, and subsequent investigation has linked them to the mausoleum crime.
A joint investigation by Oregon State Police (OSP), Portland Police Bureau (PPB), Multnomah County District Attorney's Office, and Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), identified the suspects involved in wire theft incidents along area interstates and highways, and indictments were issued by a Multnomah County Grand Jury involving the two arrested suspects; three others are wanted, and the public is asked to help locate them.
The nearly two-month investigation followed reports from ODOT of numerous wire thefts along Interstate 84, Interstate 205, and Interstate 5, as well as bordering bike paths. Wires had been severed, pulled out of conduits and removed, and presumably sold for quick cash. The thefts reportedly cost ODOT at least $500,000 to replace stolen wires and damaged electrical systems. The dollar loss at Portland Memorial was not listed.
'These arrests hopefully will get the message across to those currently involved, or considering involvement, with similar crimes that we will work with police to find and prosecute anyone who is stealing and damaging the public's property,' said Karla Keller, ODOT Maintenance Manager. 'These thieves were costing Oregonians thousands of dollars and disabled safety lighting and highway signs used to get important messages to highway travelers.'
The remaining identified suspects at large, in addition to Miller, are Nicholas Prazeau, age 27, from Fairview, and Meredith Mandy Meacham, age 28, from Portland. Metal thefts recently have been linked with methamphetamine users, but whether any of those identified in the case are meth users has not been disclosed.
Detectives say they anticipate more arrests related to this investigation. Anyone with information regarding these investigations, or the whereabouts of Prazeau, Meacham, and Miller, is asked to call Oregon State Police Northern Command Center dispatch at 1-800/452-7888, or the Portland Police Department at 9-1-1.