Men accused of looting wildfire evacuee’s homes in Oregon
MARION COUNTY, Ore. — Deputies in Oregon arrested two men accused of looting wildfire evacuees’ homes Thursday morning.
The Marion County Sheriff’s Office said Anthony Travis Bodda, 21, and Alexander Justin Jones, 36, were spotted in a suspicious van near Detroit, Oregon around 10:11 a.m. Firefighters said they had previously seen the van in the town of Indahna, and they were concerned that the van might have been involved in recent looting incidents.
Deputies said they located the van driving fast, confirmed that it was involved in the lootings and began to chase after the suspects with assistance from other local law enforcement agencies.
The suspects got onto Highway 22, then took the exit for Stayton/Sublimity and drove onto a golf course in the area as they attempted to get away.
Deputies used spike strips to disable the car, and the two suspects got out and ran before being captured nearby.
They were taken into custody on charges of first-degree theft, second-degree burglary, felony and misdemeanor eluding, reckless driving and other charges.
“I am disappointed that while in a state of emergency these people would victimize members of our community. The women and men of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office are committed to holding people accountable if they chose to victimize residents from our evacuated areas. We will continue to patrol evacuated areas and do our best to protect these areas from criminal behavior,” said Marion County Sheriff Joe Kast.
Several items were recovered from inside the suspect vehicle, and the suspects allegedly caused an estimated $1,500 in damage to the golf course.