Theft and other arrests in Clackamas evac zones


Deputies say calls for service have exploded, mostly regarding suspicious people and cars as well as potential burglaries

CLACKAMAS COUNTY, Ore. (KOIN) — An attempt to steal a trailer from Good Samaritans, a generator and tool heist, and a car full of meth and heroin are just a few of the crimes Clackamas County deputies have responded to during the past few days in the evacuation zones.

Calls for service have exploded in the Level 2 and Level 3 evacuation zones, mostly to report suspicious vehicles, people, and concerns about burglaries, according to the sheriff’s office. Though the sheriff’s office said the vast majority were “non-criminal,” they did release details on several arrests.

Tool heist near Mulino

The afternoon of Friday, Sept. 11, deputies allegedly found two people who had stolen gas-powered generators, a box of hand tools, two leaf blowers, and at least one gas can on Ringo Road near Mulino.

They arrested James Dean Shotwell and Sandy Faye Lenox, both 34 years old, on theft and burglary charges.

At the same time, deputies also found a stolen John Deere Gator side-by-side utility vehicle in a nearby wooded area, they said. Shotwell allegedly had the key to the side-by-side in his pocket. The vehicle had been stolen from Molalla, and city police made an additional arrest in that case, 56-year-old Duane Schlip, who police said is from Molalla.

Deputies also said they found additional stolen property on Ringo Road, including a Polaris Ranger side-by-side, and are trying to reunite items with their owners. If you have had property stolen in the area, you can contact the Sheriff’s Office at 503-655-8211 or 503-723-4949 (referencing case # 20-019516).

Two accused of trying to steal Good Samaritan trailer

Also on Friday afternoon, deputies stumbled upon two people accused of trying to steal a trailer in Eagle Creek.

The trailer belonged to a Good Samaritan couple who were traveling around the county, helping people evacuate, the sheriff’s office said. The couple got a flat tire on the trailer, unhooked it, and went to get supplies to fix it, leaving the trailer on Judd Road.

While they were gone, deputies said 41-year-old Buck Adam Nickel, of Estacada, and 52-year-old Kimberlee Tipton, of Milwaukie, found the trailer and tried to steal it.

A deputy figured out what was happening and arrested both for theft, according to the sheriff’s office. Nickel also allegedly had a concealed handgun and now faces an additional charge of felon in possession of a firearm.

Meth, heroin found in ‘suspicious vehicle’

An Estacada resident called to report a maroon SUV with three passengers in his driveway last Thursday morning. The subjects allegedly fled when confronted, but deputies spotted the car when they were on their way to the scene and stopped it, finding two men, a woman, heroin, methamphetamine, and drug paraphernalia inside.

The driver and female passenger were cited. Deputies arrested the other passenger, Andrew Eric Roberts-Nichols on a felony heroin charge, noting that he was also on probation for mail theft.

While searching the vehicle, deputies said they also found burglary tools and “a lot of keys to other cars,” according to dash cam video of the arrest. No one faces any burglary charges in connection with that case as of Sunday, though.

Calls for service way up

The sheriff’s office said deputies have stepped up patrols in areas impacted by the wildfires, even bringing in extra help from the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office and Oregon State Police. Increased patrols have also resulted in arrests for DUII, restraining order violation, domestic violence, and criminal trespass, according to authorities.

Calls have been through the roof. From Sept. 8-10, deputies responded to nearly 330 calls in the Level 2 and Level 3 fire areas. They say that’s a 405% increase from the number of calls fielded on Sept. 5-7.

Most of the calls are to report suspicious cars and people, and concerns about potential burglaries. However, deputies said the “vast majority” ended up being non-criminal.

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