The Bingen-White Salmon Police Department is usually busy around the 4th of July -- it's usually one of their busiest times of the year. This year was no exception.
In addition to the normal case load, officers responded to a rash of related incidents over the weekend.
On July 2, while investigating cases of two stolen vehicles, Sgt. Andring received a report of a suspicious person in the 800 block of SE Oak Street. The suspect was later located, detained and determined to be a suspect in one of the stolen vehicles, several thefts and a burglary.
Sgt. Andring said there were several significant B-WSPD cases going at one time.
"Sgt. Erik Anderson and deputy Jason Ritoch of the Klickitat County Sheriff's Department were in our area. They were instrumental in assisting with the investigation of a suspicious person and detained him for questioning on a criminal trespass," Sgt. Andring said.
During further investigation, Sgt. Andring, Sgt. Anderson and Deputy Ritoch were able to associate the suspect with a 2007 Chevrolet Suburban stolen in the 1000 block of SE Oak St. in White Salmon, a car prowl-theft of about $2000 in cash from Hood River, a Hood River bike theft, and several other White Salmon theft and burglary cases.
The money and stolen bike from the Hood River cases were recovered, and White Salmon's stolen vehicle was later recovered with slight damage. Contents of the Suburban had been stolen.
During the day of July 2, other victims from the SE White Salmon area between Jewett Boulevard and SE Oak St. and from 1st to 10 Street/Oak Street started calling to report their thefts.
One victim is missing two very expensive bikes and kite boarding equipment valued at approximately $10,000.
Sgt. Andring is relatively certain that not all the victims area aware they are victims. Sgt. Andring has a wallet and some items belonging to a person that has not yet been located and has not reported the theft.
Sgt. Andring referred to the incidents as a "one man crime spree." "It is very unusual for our area," he said.
Investigation into the incidents is continuing.
The suspect, Jeremy Colten James Pearson, 32, was booked into the Klickitat County Jail on charges of motor vehicle theft, criminal trespass, theft, possession of stolen property, and other related charges.
Pearson is formerly of the Portland area but has been living just outside the White Salmon area for several months.
Bingen-White Salmon Police Chief Tony Domish has worked hard to foster positive working relationships with area agencies. "We very much appreciate the excellent working relationship between the Klickitat County Sheriff's Department and B-WSPD. This is just one excellent example of how team work had positive results for our area citizens."
Officer Bill Clack said the Bingen-White Salmon Police Department was very busy over the weekend, with officers responding to 55 calls between July 1 and 4. The calls included five malicious mischief cases, four warrants, two 911 calls, two parking complaints, nine fireworks complaints, three suspicious persons, six thefts, two motor vehicle thefts, one burglary, four animal complaints, two missing persons, one harassment complaint, five trespasses, one hazardous materials response, three noise complaints, one traffic incident, an injury collision, a welfare check, agency assists and disorderly conduct cases.