CLACKAMAS COUNTY, Ore. (KOIN) — Deputies made more arrests, stopped more cars, and wrote far more crime reports than usual in parts of Clackamas County that were under Level 2 and Level 3 evacuation orders, according to data released by the sheriff’s office.
Between Sept. 8 and Sept. 21, deputies made 21 arrests in areas threatened by the wildfires, according to the sheriff’s office. Some people were arrested on multiple charges, with the most common charges being possession of methamphetamine or an outstanding warrant.
Deputies took more than three times as many criminal reports in areas threatened by wildfires than they did in the same areas last year.
They also made 743 self-initiated activity calls, including subject stops, premise checks, traffic stops and suspicious vehicle stops. That’s five times as many as the department reported during the same time frame last year.
Clackamas Sheriff Craig Roberts has maintained throughout the fires his deputies were increasing their patrols in evacuation zones and would be able to handle any crime occurring there.
“There’s a lot of panic and alert going on with the belief that people are running around setting fires,” Roberts said in a press conference on Sept. 13. At that time, and numerous other times in the days that followed, Roberts reiterated that there was no truth to rumors of politically-organized groups setting fires.
Deputies have not made any arson or other fire-related arrests in the evacuation zones, according to the statistics released by the sheriff’s office.
Clackamas County officials held a press conference on Monday, announcing some progress made on wildfires and the downgrading of the evacuation level for the City of Estacada.