Wednesday, September 16, 2009
By JESSE BURKHARDT
Another series of break-ins and burglaries are leaving Underwood residents frustrated and searching for help.
"Please keep your eyes open and guard up," advised Peter and Faye Brehm. "There are thieves robbing homes and our home was one."
The Brehms reported that someone broke in to their Underwood home on the night of Sept. 9 by smashing through glass.
"I'm concerned," added resident Steve Rich. "The burglaries have gone on all around us."
One neighbor reported that she noticed what she described as an older gold-colored sedan with two adults -- a female driver and a male passenger -- in front of the Brehms home the night it was burglarized.
"It made me nervous and I thought the people looked out of place. I am on high alert," she added.
The Skamania County Sheriff's Office (SCSO) contacted the Underwood community via its group e-mail network to report that there were two recent daytime burglaries in the area.
According to the SCSO, one was on Newell Road, and one was on Love Road. Both crimes took place on Sept. 10.
The SCSO described the two most recent burglaries as follows:
Love Road: "A resident was gone from the early morning hours until the evening. Entry was forced and the neighbor, also gone for most of the day, observed nothing unusual. Taken were TVs, DVDs, and other electronic devices."
Newell Road: "A burglary possibly occurred the previous day or evening. Electronics were NOT taken, firearms only."
Pat Bond, chief deputy of the Skamania County Sheriff's Office, said deputies would increase patrols in the area.
"We have increased daytime patrols in the area with both marked and unmarked cars," Bond explained. "Please call in anything suspicious in the area. Your assistance in the previous burglaries was invaluable; please continue your vigilance, and we will increase our patrols."
"This is another reminder to lock your doors and keep your eyes open," added Sally Newell, chair of the Underwood Community Council. "Let's all try to help our Sheriff's Office keep our community safe and crime free."
The Underwood community has been hard-hit by thieves -- usually striking during the daytime -- in recent months. There was a residential burglary on Cook-Underwood Road on May 11. Jewelry and electronics goods were stolen.
There were also several thefts in January, including a daylight burglary on Underwood's Davison Street in which thieves broke in a back door and stole jewelry, electronics, and a handgun.
A series of crimes took place in Underwood in April and May of 2008, when several Underwood homes were burglarized.
In January of this year, three men were arrested in White Salmon as suspects in the Underwood burglaries. Authorities reported that goods from some of the Underwood burglaries were recovered at the time of the arrests.
The charges against one of the suspects, Jose Gutierrez, were dismissed in April.
Jamison Salcedo, 19, of White Salmon, pleaded guilty to residential burglary in Superior Court in Skamania County on July 30. Salcedo was sentenced to four months in the Skamania County Jail.
No information on the disposition of the case of the third suspect arrested in the case, Jose Cortez, was available from Superior Court as of press time.