Police crackdown leads to 14 arrests Wednesday
St. Helens chief: 'We can't afford to sit by and wait'
Some 14 criminal suspects were arrested in south Columbia County Wednesday, July 9, as part of a crackdown billed as the largest tactical operation in recent Columbia County history, according to the St. Helens Police Department.
At least 35 officers representing every law enforcement agency in the county, as well as the United States Marshals Service, participated in the operation, police said. A statement from the department said officers spread out across the region in an attempt to seek out and arrest criminals who are actively involved in the drug dealing, burglaries and thefts that have plagued our communities.
Officers began in Rainier and spread out from there, searching more than 25 different addresses in south Columbia County, according to the St. Helens police.
Many of the suspects identified by the St. Helens police were arrested for offenses such as contempt of court, failure to appear in court, possession of methamphetamine and probation violation. However, two face charges of theft.
The greater St. Helens area has been hit by a series of burglaries and thefts over the past two months. Police said traditional law enforcement methods have been ineffective in countering the rash of property crimes, and Wednesday's crackdown was part of an effort to respond.
We cant afford to sit by and wait, St. Helens Police Chief Terry Moss was quoted as saying. Not all of these suspects are responsible for the burglaries, but their criminal behavior is part of this problem. We want them know that we are serious about this.
More arrests are expected in connection with the operation, according to police.
The St. Helens Police Department identified the suspects it said were arrested Wednesday: