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Three-state crime spree hits Sandy

Vehicle thefts, burglaries go from state to state


Sandy police are dealing with their part of a large case that involves major thefts in three states: Nevada, Oregon and possibly California.

The scenario began in Sparks/Reno, Nev., where a pickup was stolen and apparently driven north on Highway 97, where other thefts took place, including dental equipment stolen in Redmond.

The truck was discovered abandoned in Sandy’s industrial area on the west side of town in the early morning Saturday, April 6. The truck had no license plates but did have the dental equipment, clothing and tools — all presumed stolen.

Two days later, a business on Industrial Way, not far from where the truck had been abandoned, reported that thefts had occurred during the weekend, including the loss of a vehicle, three titles to vehicles and many tools.

That same stolen vehicle was recovered in Canby last week, and another vehicle was reported stolen in Canby a short distance from where the Sandy vehicle was found.

The Canby vehicle was located in Gladstone the same day as it was stolen.

Detectives don’t know where this scenario will end, but authorities in Oregon City and Canby are trying to link commercial burglaries in their cities with the case that began in Nevada and moved to Oregon via Redmond and Sandy.

Sandy Detective Jason Bickle said the investigation has provided the identity of a suspect, but the investigation is still ongoing.

“We do have a person of interest in the cases,” Bickle said, “but I can’t release his name until we get more solid evidence.”

Some of the clues to the identity of the suspect(s) already gathered include physical evidence recovered at one of the businesses on Industrial Way, according to a police report from the investigating officer.

Bickle said the Oregon State Police crime lab is processing evidence that includes fingerprints and DNA.

“We, like the other affected agencies,” Bickle said, “will have to wait for all the physical evidence to be returned from the (Oregon State Police) crime lab to positively identify him.”

Bickle’s advice to business owners is to increase their security measures and instruct their employees to follow security procedures.

“The buildings that were burglarized in Sandy did not have silent or audible alarms or cameras,” Bickle said. “That’s something for all the businesses in Sandy to consider.”