Pendleton police arrested three suspects in connection to the recent rash of vehicle break-ins across town.
Pendleton police Lt. Charles Byram in an email stated the department has received 27 reports since July 20 of unlawfully entered vehicles. Neighborhoods on the North Hill and South Hill experienced the highest rates of victimization with other cases spread out in the city. Victims in 13 incidents only wanted to tell police about the crime and not file a report, but Pendleton police investigated the other 14.
Police caught the first suspect on July 20, Byram reported. Charles Scott Ronald Chapel, 24, of Pendleton, faces misdemeanors of unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle and third-degree theft for a case in the area of the 10 block of Southwest Byers Avenue.
The crime wave continued this weekend, with 10 reports alone Friday, according to the police bulletin. The crimes occurred all over the city, from Northwest 10th Street to several in the area of Southeast Sixth, Seventh and Eighth streets.
Byram stated officers caught the next two suspects Friday and Saturday.
Police arrested Kyle Thomas Simpson, 30, in connection to a case at Domino’s Pizza, 1211 S.E. Emigrant Ave. Police arrested him for possession of burglary tools, unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle, and third-degree theft, all misdemeanors.
And police nabbed Ashley Rosellen Dima, 28, after an incident on the 300 block of Southeast First Street. She faces charges of possession of methamphetamine, theft by receiving, and seven counts of fraudulent use of a credit card. Simpson and Dima also are Pendleton residents.
“Most of the items stolen from the vehicles consisted of loose change, cellphones, purses and wallets,” according to Byram, but one case involves the theft of a Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun. The lieutenant also stated nearly all the vehicles involved were unlocked and had valuables in plain view.
Most of these crimes occurred in the late night or early morning hours, and Byram also explained these cases are typically “crimes of opportunity” in which the suspect walks through a neighborhood looking for unsecured vehicles with valuables in plain view. He encouraged the public to lock their vehicles and not keep valuables in them, and to report any suspicious people or activity.
Umatilla County Circuit Court records show Chapel has previous cases for methamphetamine possession, and Dima has no previous cases. Simpson has a second-degree theft case pending. The state alleges Simpson stole watches worth at least $100 from one individual.