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Suspect linked to three burglaries arrested

Photo Credit: ST. HELENS POLICE DEPARTMENT PHOTO - Alex Ross, pictured here, is being held at Columbia County Jail on $135,000 bail. Ross confessed to three local burglaries after he was arrested Friday.

A 20-year-old St. Helens man confessed to committing three burglaries over the past few months after he was arrested Friday.

The St. Helens Police Department reported Monday that Alexander Jason Ross, believed to be a St. Helens-area transient, was arrested in connection to a burglary in the 34000 block of Smith Road.

Ross confessed to the crime after detectives from the St. Helens Police Department and Columbia County Sheriff's Office presented information gathered from the scene of the burglary, according to Terry Moss, chief of the St. Helens Police Department.

Soon after Ross's arrest, someone turned over a black backpack, linked to Ross, which contained a stolen computer and jewelry from a home on Tarbell Road. Ross later confessed to that burglary, as well as one on Sykes Road, where an elderly woman was robbed while she slept. The backpack was recovered from bushes near an empty house in the unincorporated Chimes Crest area, Moss stated in a media release.

Investigators recently found other stolen property on Ross, including items from the home of Columbia County District Attorney Steve Atchison, whose home was burglarized in June.

Atchison said Monday that his office will not be prosecuting the burglary suspects, because Atchison was a victim. Instead, the charges will be handled by other prosecutors in the region.

Ross is being held at Columbia County Jail on two counts of first degree burglary and one count of burglary in the second degree. His bail is $135,000. Moss said additional charges may be entered as the investigation continues.

Moss said the investigation into the St. Helens burglary spree earlier this summer is ongoing. He encouraged more feedback and tips from citizens, who have been crucial to the investigation.

“Immediate calls reporting suspicious behaviors, alarm and surveillance systems and a genuine concern for our neighbors will be key to solving these crimes,” Moss stated. “I fully expect that others will be arrested very soon.”