PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A late September crime spree that targeted heating-and-cooling businesses and stolen vehicles remains an active investigation as one person is in custody and at least one more is being sought.
Pawel “Paul” Sebastian Szkutnik, 39, is in the Clackamas County Jail on a long list of charges, including probation violation. Officials said they are looking for information on a woman believed to be Szkutnik’s accomplice.
And officials said they may be connected to earlier crimes, as well.
In a release Monday, the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office detailed the incidents Szkutnik is allegedly connected to, beginning September 23 when he is believed to have taken a white Ford pickup in Portland.
The next day, September 24, Szkutnik went on a crime spree that lasted more than 6 hours, officials said.
Around 9 a.m. that day, he and his accomplice stole a van from Robben & Sons Heating from their property on SE Piazza Avenue, authorties said. That van was later found abandoned in Oregon City.
Then at 1:15 p.m., Szkutnik “eluded a deputy on Highway 212” who spotted him in the stolen white Ford pickup.
Slightly more than 2 hours later, around 3:40 p.m., a “theft in progress” was reported at Milwaukie Heating & Cooling on SE Hwy 212 in Clackamas, not far from Robben & Sons Heating.
“Szkutnik had been spotted on the property breaking into an outbuilding and loading items out of the stolen white Ford pickup into a Milwaukie Heating & Cooling company van he was planning to steal next,” authorities said.
When deputies arrived and surrounded the business, Szkutnik allegedly drove the company’s van through a closed front gate and fence and took off on Highway 212.
“He then drove the van over a sidewalk, up a grass berm and into the parking lot of the Comfort Suites Hotel” on SE McKinley Avenue, officials said.
Szkutnik left the van and tried to run away but was corralled by deputies, who said they found meth in his possession at that time.
Authorities said they found the Milwaukie Heating & Cooling van with more than $5000 of stolen property inside. They also found other stolen items, including bicycles, tools, HVAC tape, a MasterCard, clothes and pill bottles.
Investigators believe Szkutnik is linked to other vehicle and bike thefts, including one September 19 from Kaiser Sunnyside Medical Center.
Currently he’s being held without bail for the probation violation (out of Multnomah County) and drug charges. He is also facing unauthorized use of a vehicle, eluding a police officer, burglary, theft, 2 counts of criminal mischief, reckless driving and reckless endangering.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office at 503.723.4949 or by email: www.clackamas.us/sheriff/tip