Salem burglary suspect arrested after standoff


SALEM, Ore. (KOIN) — A man faces “numerous charges” after police said he broke into a Salem home Tuesday morning.

Kenneth Ketchem allegedly attempted to break into multiple homes in the 1000 block of Northeast Summer Street around 7:30 a.m. 

At one spot, a homeowner confronted him and Ketchem told the homeowner he had a gun. Ketchem ran into a different house through the back door. The woman inside that home ran out the front door, but Ketchem stayed inside.

A SWAT unit was at the scene for hours as Ketchem was barricaded in the house. He was eventually taken into custody by SWAT and was treated for some injuries. 

Next door neighbor Curtis Wilson told KOIN 6 News via phone that he heard a man yelling just before 7 a.m.

“This guy was screaming at me to get back in the house [because] there was a guy with a gun who broke into the house next door,” Wilson said. 

Wilson and his 88-year-old mother evacuated their home while police used it to get a better view inside the house with Ketchem inside. He said police tried to communicate with the suspect using a bullhorn and at one point used a flashbang.

Police said Ketchem started a fire in the house during the standoff. The extend of the damage is unknown but several windows were clearly blown out.

A man identified as Kenneth Ketchem was in a standoff with Salem SWAT at a home on Summer Street NE in Salem, January 22, 2019. (KOIN) 

“I looked out the dining room window at the house next door and there were flames at the bottom of the window,” Wilson said. 

The couple who lives in the home returned late Tuesday to see the aftermath. They’ve only lived in the home for a few months. 

“Two dead animals, and have a house that’s trashed and my pets are gone and I’m sitting here with a wife that’s traumatized as well as myself,” homeowner Tim Graves said. “I don’t think people understand the gravity of crime and what it does to people.”

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