News and Press Releases
Sheriff's Office Warns of Continued SCAMS in the County PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 03 May 2013 09:59

Providing FBI Website to report Internet SCAMS: http://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx

The Sheriff's Office is warning Columbia County residents to beware of ongoing SCAM activity occurring around the county, particularly involving the purchase of pre-paid credit on behalf of others who are pretending to pass on benefits to the purchasers of the credit.  Two recent scams include the "Secret Shopper" scam and a scam concerning bogus contest winnings.

The "Secret Shopper" scam seeks to have victims purchase Green Dot Money Paks (a form of pre-paid credit).  The victim is sent a check in the mail that is fraudulent and will bounce.  The victim is instructed to purchase the pre-paid cards for $200 (or some other amount) less than the amount of the fraudulent check, and report the card numbers on the Green Point Money packs back to the suspects.  The suspects cash in the value on the money packs, the bank informs its customer that the deposited check has bounced, and the victim is out the cost of the money packs.

Bogus contest winnings are also making the rounds in the county.  Recently, a county resident lost $3,000 after she received a letter claiming she was the winner of $50,000.  Along with the letter was a fraudulent check in the amount of $2,800.  The victim called the phone number she found in the letter, and she was told to cash the check and send the money back to the fraudulent sender of the letter by purchasing Green Dot Money Paks.  She was told this would help pay for the taxes on her winnings.  When the victim called the suspects back, they convinced her to purchase another $200 in  credit and give it to them to help pay for her actual award of $100,000.

"In the economic times in which we live, many people become vulnerable to the wolves and scam artists who try to take advantage of people hoping to get something for nothing," Sheriff Jeff Dickerson said. "It is important in this information age that we all take steps to protect our identity and our bank accounts from people who are more than willing to spend our limited resources for us -- for nothing in return!"

The Sheriff's Office recommends using  Identity Theft protection available commercially to protect your assets, and to be wary of any financial schemes that seem too good to be true:  They most likely are!  

If you have been scammed via the internet, you can report the facts to the FBI on their website for making such reports at:  http://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx   

You can also learn more about SCAMS through the FBI at:  http://www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/e-scams

 

Last Updated on Friday, 03 May 2013 13:00
 
CCSO Releases 2012 Annual Report PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 02 April 2013 11:55

The Columbia County Sheriff's Office has released its annual report for the 2012 Calendar year.  It can be viewed online by downloading the pdf version of the report HERE.

 "This annual report shows how the Sheriff's Office continues to perform very well despite our funding shortages," said Sheriff Jeff Dickerson.  "While cutbacks on the horizon have tempered our exuberance, they do not take away from the accomplishments of 2012."

Indeed, CCSO continued to see improvements in crime reports, civil process efficiency, marine patrol hours and BUII arrests, volunteer hours, DUII arrests, and a host of other accomplishments, making 2012 another banner year for the Sheriff's Office, especially considering the additional cutbacks made in the summer of 2012.

"As long as we are able, we will continue to fire as effectively as possible on all cylinders," the Sheriff said. "We are glad to be able to serve to the level that we have, and believe we have done our part to help make our county safe and livable for our families and our friends, neighbors and fellow citizens."

 
Clatskanie Man Arrested For Attempted Assault of Officer during Pursuit PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 11 February 2013 11:32

Aggressive attempts to elude capture last Friday night-- including attempting to ram a pursuing deputy -- have resulted in attempted Assault charges against a Clatskanie man.

 

John Phillip Rasler, 39, Clatskanie was lodged in the Columbia County Jail and charged with Attempted Assault I x 2, Attempted Assault on Public Safety Officer x 2, Attempt to Elude (felony), Attempt to Elude (misdemeanor), Reckless Driving, Reckless Endangering, Criminal Mischief, Unlawful Possession of Methamphetamine, and DWS Misdemeanor. He was also wanted on a warrant for his arrest for similar charges out of Columbia County Circuit Court.

 

The pursuit began at 8:47 p.m., after a deputy on routine patrol found Rasler's brown, 1978 Chevrolet pickup truck partially blocking the roadway on Anliker Road. When the deputy stopped to investigate, the driver sat up in the seat, spun gravel, and accelerated toward Deputy Dews as he was still in his patrol car. The driver narrowly missed hitting Deputy Dews and his patrol car as he sped away.

 

The deputy gave chase as the driver fled and went up Canaan Road. Officers from the Clatskanie, Rainier, St. Helens and Oregon State Police departments responded to assist. As the deputy continued to follow at speeds of 50-60 miles per hour, the pursuit continued to the area of Clark Road / Whitney Road.

 

At one point, the suspect spun out on the gravel road. When he got the truck going again, he attempted to drive into the driver side door of the deputy's patrol car. The suspect continued to flee into a large wooded area off of Whitney Road. A short time later, the deputy found the pickup abandoned up a small, muddy road. The deputy called out to the suspect who came out of hiding and was held at gunpoint until help could arrive from responding police.

 

Several police vehicles sustained minor damage due to the driving on rough terrain.

 

Rasler is currently in custody in the jail with security release set at $55,750.

 

 
Sheriff Answers 2nd Amendment Concerns PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 16 January 2013 17:16

Columbia County Sheriff Jeff Dickerson today  answered concerns of citizens worried about potential overreaching by federal authorities in the current gun control debate.  The sheriff authored an open letter to County citizens underscoring his long-held support for the the Constitution and the 2nd Amendment in the Bill of Rights (go here to read the letter).

 The letter was in response to citizens who wanted to make sure their sheriff was in agreement with the comments made by Linn County Sheriff Tim Mueller in a letter to Vice President Joe Biden yesterday.

"Sheriffs in Oregon agree that one of their primary responsibilities is to safeguard the constitutional protections of our basic rights," the sheriff said. " 'The right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed,' the Second Amendment says.  I take those words pretty seriously." 

"Clearly, there are things the federal government can do to tighten enforcement of current laws and help insure that only law-abiding citizens have access to firearms, and we have to focus our energies on those things, without infringing on the rights of the good citizens in our county."

For a scholarly piece on the importance of the Second Amendment, the sheriff recommends an article that appeared in Imprimis magazine in March 2013, written by Edward J. Erler, Ph.D.  Dr. Erler is professor of political science at California State University, San Bernadino.  His article entitled, "The Second Amendment as an Expression of First Principles" can be found HERE

Last Updated on Monday, 15 April 2013 09:38
 
Alert Deputy Nabs Car Thief PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 11 January 2013 16:34
A car theft suspect in a stolen car out of St. Helens Thursday night is now in jail after a deputy watching traffic near the Yankton School was alerted to the suspect. After determining the vehicle had been stolen, the deputy gave chase to the vehicle as the driver sped off in an effort to elude capture. The chase ended in St. Helens after the driver crashed. The suspect later told the deputy he had just gotten out of prison for car theft.
 
Joshua K. Hayes, 31, Portland is lodged in the Columbia County Jail on two counts of Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle, and one count each of: Attempt to Elude (vehicle); Attempt to Elude (foot); Criminal Driving While Revoked; and, Parole Violation.
 
At 10:27 p.m., the sheriff's deputy saw suspicious driving on the part of the suspect and began following the vehicle from Brinn Rd. and Pittsburg Rd. in the St. Helens area. Once the deputy got behind the vehicle, he noted the description and last three numbers on the license plate matched the description of the 1999 Nissan that had been previously reported as stolen out of St. Helens. The deputy began to follow the vehicle and called for assistance from the St. Helens Police.
 
As the deputy was following behind the suspect, the suspect accelerated rapidly. The deputy gave chase--eventually with lights and siren--headed eastbound on Pittsburg Rd just to the west of the City of St. Helens. The suspect vehicle drove down Barr Avenue from Pittsburg and entered the city, eventually crashing the stolen vehicle on Snow Street just before 10:30 p.m. The vehicle ended up in the driveway of 34763 Snow Street in West St. Helens. The suspect then fled on foot, but the deputy gave chase and captured the suspect, holding him at gunpoint until help arrived from the St. Helens Police Department. The suspect was taken into custody without further incident and lodged in the Columbia County Jail. The stolen vehicle was recovered by the deputy and turned over to the St. Helens Police Department.
 
Hayes' parole officer was contacted and a detainer was placed on the suspect in addition to the local criminal charges.
 
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