Burglary suspects on the run Sunday in south Morrow County picked the wrong canyon for a getaway.
Daniel Faustino Arce, 28, and Desireea Delane Devin, 23, ended up behind bars after pheasant hunters on TREO Ranches, Heppner, held the desperate duo at gunpoint until officers arrived. Morrow County District Attorney Justin Nelson said a dogged neighbor also played a key role in their capture.
Nelson said Roger Britt of Heppner spotted a neighbor’s garage open on the 54400 block of Upper Rhea Creek Road and their Jeep Cherokee taking off. Britt found that suspicious, Nelson said, and decided to follow.
That became a car chase, and the suspects fired one round at Britt. Nelson said Britt broke off and decided to bring in law enforcement.
Meanwhile, he said, the Jeep thieves broke into a shed on the 60100 block of Valby Road and stole gas cans. From there, they ended up stuck in a ditch and tried to set fire to the Jeep on property belonging to TREO Ranches, where owner Phil Carlson was conducting a pheasant hunt.
Carlson and his crew drew guns on Arce and Devin until officers from Oregon State Police and the Morrow County Sheriff’s Office arrived. Carlson did not return a call for comment from the East Oregonian, but he posted photos of the apprehension on his Facebook page.
Police booked the pair into the Umatilla County Jail, Pendleton, and Nelson’s office arraigned them Monday on the following: three counts of first-degree robbery; two counts second-degree burglary; and one count each of first-degree burglary, unauthorized use of a vehicle, third- and first-degree theft, unlawful use of a weapon, and first-degree criminal mischief.
Nelson said Devin stated during the hearing she lives in Madras and Arce told the court he lives with her. Neither has a real connection to the area.
“There’s more to the story that we don’t know,” Nelson said, and the sheriff’s office is continuing the investigation and hopes to find the gun they fired at Britt as well as more items from the thefts.
State court records show Arce began serving two years of probation in August 2016 in Jefferson County for methamphetamine possession, which he violated this past August. Devin faced meth and hydrocodone possession, unlawful possession of a gun and driving under the influence of intoxicants in 2014 in Jefferson County. She took a deal and pleaded guilty to the meth possession and entered drug court and a DUII diversion program. Devin completed diversion in November 2015 and the court dismissed the DUII case against her.
Nelson said his next step is to take the case to a grand jury for an indictment, which he aims to bring Friday during the next hearing in the case.