Clackamas River Water board member buys storage bin contents, finds evidence of potential ID theft

Clackamas resident Warren Mitchell last week stumbled upon a trove of documents - all belonging to other people.

They included credit cards and IDs under various names and from different states, and disks containing Department of Motor Vehicle records. There were also templates for driver's licenses, cash, money orders, traveler's checks, social security cards and more; all of which he acquired unwittingly when he purchacsed a public storage unit at auction.

But because the storage unit he bought was in Portland and he'd since brought the contents back to his home in Clackamas, no one would investigate it.

The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office wouldn't investigate it because the storage unit was in Portland.

'[The dispatcher] said, 'well you got the stuff form Portland, so it's a Portland issue,'' Mitchell said.

'Then I called Portland and they said if I wanted to, I could bring [the boxes] across the county line and either an officer could meet me or I could take it to the south precinct station, and it was my decision if I wanted to pursue it,' Mitchell said.

He said neither agency referred him to the state police or FBI or offered to come pick the stuff up.

Mitchell said he usually buys a few storage units a month as a hobby. When he started sifting through the boxes of papers and documents and started noticing a bunch of different names, he sensed something was amiss. Then his daughter's boyfriend, Steve Bradshaw, became really curious and started looking through the various computer disks, Mitchell said.

'It was the first time he'd seen me bring one of these home,' Mitchell said.

One of the disks contained images of both sides of a $100 bill, both sides of traveler's checks, both sides of a $400 money order, social security cards with names and numbers with no signatures, blank pay stubs, copies of signatures and more.

Det. Jim Strovink of CCSO said the dispatch was correct in saying it's a Portland issue, but said if Portland was unresponsive they'd be happy to do a courtesy report.

'If we have a crime, it's where it came from' that determines who investigates, he said. 'If he called us and they said, 'that's Portland's,' that's correct.'

Portland police could not be reached for comment.

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