VANCOUVER -- With just a single arrest, police said a major theft spree that turned lives upside down in the Portland-Vancouver area had come to an end.
A Clark County sheriff’s deputy found a man asleep behind the wheel of a stolen U-Haul truck May 1 in the 7900 block of Northeast Highway 99. The sheriff’s office said the man ran away, leaving behind items that numerous home and business owners had been missing for weeks.
Rebecca Thacker’s Mt. Hood-area cabin was recently burglarized. Among the furniture and antiques of hers police found in the U-Haul truck was something much more precious: Her mother’s urn.
“My mother passed away from cancer several years ago,” Thacker said.
Thacker’s irreplaceable item is now back where it belongs. Another theft victim, a Tualatin pharmacist, isn’t allowed to get his stolen goods back.
“My first thought is: What a waste,” Patrick Bowman said. Police said the same thief stole $44,000 in prescription drugs from Bowman’s Tualatin Pharmacy. But for safety reasons, none of the pills police found can be put back on his shelves. “I really feel grateful they recovered all that medication because that medication in the wrong hands would be dangerous,” Bowman said.
Background: Police after crooks who tunnel into businesses
Police said those are just two of a long list of victims hit over a 50-mile theft trail that went from Rhododendron to Sandy, to Tualatin, to Canby.
Portland Police found and arrested Jason Edward Stidham Tuesday, May 6. He already faced burglary charges in Reno, Nevada and now faces a number of new charges in Oregon.