A man suspected of breaking into at least 18 local businesses, churches and non-profits was arrested Christmas Eve by Salem police.
Roberto Baney-Mateos, 26, was wanted by Salem police in connection with a series of burglaries, including a break-in at La Bonita Bakery on Portland Road, where thousands of dollars were stolen on Nov. 25.
On Dec. 1, investigators asked for the public's help with locating Baney-Mateos, a transient with a warrant out for his arrest for violating his probation for a methamphetamine possession conviction.
Security guards spotted Baney-Mateos inside a business complex yard around 8:20 p.m. Sunday. Salem police spokesman Lt. Dave Okada said officers quickly responded and spotted Baney-Mateos in front of one business in the 3100 block of Kantz Court NE.
As officers closed in on him, Baney-Mateos fled into an adjoining business yard. A Salem police K-9 dog found him hiding in the back of a utility truck.
He was taken into custody without further incident.
Okada said as the investigation continued, officers determined Baney-Mateos also burglarized Garten Services three times and was possibly connected to several other break-ins. Baney-Mateos was eventually charged with 22 counts of burglary dating back to Nov. 20.
The break-in at La Bonita Bakery was just one of many break-ins to hit the Salem area in recent months.
According to restaurant owners and police, at least 10 restaurants reported burglaries in the Salem-Keizer area since August.
Romano's Mexican Restaurant closed for business after a burglar stole thousands of dollars from the company safe.
Salem police spokesman Okada told the Statesman Journal he believed a small number of prolific offenders were behind the break-ins.
Bentley's Coffee and a Keizer Dutch Bros. also experienced multiple burglaries. After Keizer police released a photo of the suspected burglar, John Herriges, 40, of Salem, was arrested and charged with breaking into the coffee shops.
Following his arrest, Baney-Mateos was taken to Marion County jail. He is scheduled to appear for arraignment on Tuesday.
Detectives are continuing to investigate other burglaries, and additional charges are possible, Okada said.
The break-ins connected to Baney-Mateos include:
- Salem Alliance Church on Nov. 20
- Physiq Fitness on Nov. 21
- Tong King Garden Restaurant on Nov. 21
- Old Spaghetti Warehouse on Nov. 21
- Garten Services on Nov. 22
- La Bonita Bakery on Nov. 25
- Garten Services on Nov. 28
- El Grullense Restaurant on Nov. 29
- Santiam Wine Co. on Dec. 6
- Xicha Brewing on Dec. 13
- Capitol City Sports on Dec. 13
- Little Lois Cafe on Dec. 13
- Oregon Cherry Growers on Dec. 17
- Salem Tennis and Swim Club on Dec. 19
- Bethany Baptist Church on Dec. 19
- Jacksons Shell Station on Dec. 20
- Xicha Brewing on Dec. 21
- Capitol City Sports on Dec. 21
- Scoreboard Tavern on Dec. 21
- Bottle Drop on Dec. 21
- Commercial Property Resources on Dec. 21
- Garten Services on Dec. 24