14 caught, 1 sought in Columbia Co. crackdown

14 caught, 1 sought in Columbia Co. crackdown

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by Mike Benner, KGW Staff

kgw.com

Posted on July 11, 2014 at 5:52 AM

Updated Saturday, Jul 12 at 3:12 AM

ST. HELENS, Ore. -- Dale Thompson's view from atop the hills above Goble is breathtaking. It is even exciting at times. On Thursday afternoon he watched a slow-speed police chase inch its way toward his property.

"Looked like the O.J. Simpson chase," said Thompson. "About 15 to 20 mph."

The chase ended when the vehicle bottomed out on a rock. Inside that vehicle, investigators say, was Jeffery Dean Allen.

The 28-year-old and more than a dozen others, arrested Wednesday, were wanted for questioning about a crime spree that has terrorized Columbia County residents.

"Everybody we targeted yesterday or went after yesterday had a small piece of this," said St. Helens Police Chief Terry Moss, "and it might've been their drug use or drug dealing that was a big part of this much bigger problem."

Chief Moss was referring to home burglaries. Over the course of the last two months, there have been more than 55 in the county. 

Background: 58 burglaries in Columbia Co. within a month

Russ Dunnington lost $8,000 worth of personal property when somebody broke into his home.

"It violates you when you come home and somebody is inside your house," said Dunnington.

With the community on edge, authorities made the burglaries a top priority.  It paid off.  On Wednesday 35 officers from every agency in the county spread out and made arrests.

"We thought that rather than take small bites at this thing, let's do a sweep," said Chief Moss.

One suspect, Vaughn Joseph Yeramian (pictured, right),  continues to elude capture.

To leave a tip for Columbia County law enforcement agencies, call the tip line at 503-397-0007 or 877-768-8881.

More: Suspect linked to several St. Helens burglaries

 

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