A suspect in a string of early morning home burglaries in Keizer was arrested in Salem on Wednesday afternoon.
The suspect, 30-year-old Noah Daniel VanDeventer, was taken into custody at the Walmart located at 3025 Lancaster Drive NE after Salem Police officers responded to the store at about 3 p.m. after they received a report that a person matching the description of the robbery suspect had been seen.
VanDeventer will be booked in the Marion County Jail and faces charges of first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary, second-degree attempted assault, menacing, unlawful entry into a motor vehicle and first-degree theft. The investigation is ongoing and there may be additional charges.
Cal Fowler was the citizen who called 911 and filed the report from the Walmart. He was at the store with a female acquaintance. Fowler said his friend recognized the suspect first and told him. After Fowler looked up the story on KGW.com and saw a photo of the suspect, he was certain it was him. Another female friend agreed and they decided to call 911.
Fowler said he and his friends decided to stick around until the police showed up.
"They said I could leave if I wanted to but I decided to stay in case he decided to flee or if he got in a car I could get his license plate number or something like that," he said. "I'm pretty calm normally but my heart was racing. The people I was with had hives and they were like, 'This is crazy.' "
"We should give credit where credit is due," said Keizer Police Department Deputy Chief Jeffrey Kuhns. "Three alert individuals saw something and said something. Thanks to them we have the suspect in custody."
Police investigated at least three residential burglaries that occurred between 5 and 7 a.m., Keizer Police Deputy Chief Jeffrey Kuhns said.
A resident living on the 6200 block of 11th Avenue NE awoke to a man breaking into his truck at 6:20 a.m. The resident, Roy McGrath, contacted police and confronted the suspected burglar.
"He was in a ski mask, had gloves on, and a backpack full of gear that turned to be all mine," McGrath said
A physical confrontation ensued when McGrath attempted to detain the man.
"I grabbed him by the shirt and started punching him in the face and he tried to get away," McGrath said. "I tackled him to try and keep him for police. We fought on the ground for about two minutes and then he tried to stab me in the stomach with a knife."
Both he and the suspect were injured during the fight. The suspect then fled the scene on foot.
While officers were investigating the break-in, they learned of another burglary at a nearby home on the 1200 block of Harmony Drive NE. Kuhns said investigators believe the same man broke into both residences.
A third burglary was reported the same morning within blocks of the other homes. A suspect entered the garage of a home on the 5800 block of Kate Lane NE and rummaged through two vehicles parked inside.
According to police, the man suspected of burglarizing the homes was later spotted at a 7-Eleven convenience store at 5550 River Road North at 7:35 a.m.
Anyone with additional information about this ongoing investigation is asked to call Keizer Police Department Detective Andrew Phelps at 503-390-7317 extension 3497.
For questions, comments and news tips, email reporter Whitney Woodworth at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 503-399-6884 or follow on Twitter @wmwoodworth