News and Press Releases
Sheriff's Office Cracks Mail Theft Ring PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 13 January 2017 17:26

Columbia County Sheriff's deputies have taken a significant bite out of a mail theft ring out of Columbia County and operating in Multnomah, Washington and Columbia Counties. Thus far, deputies have arrested three individuals on Theft and other charges associated with stolen mail from residences in Portland, Beaverton, Hillsboro, Scappoose, Warren and St. Helens.


Last week, deputies ce began investigating an incident where a a Warren residenthad three personal checks stolen from her mail box and deposited at a US Bank ATM in St Helens, OR.  Ford had placed her checks in her mailbox to pay her bills.  The checks were deposited into the personal account of a male named Rodney Oates.  


After auditing Oates' personal account, investigators found that there were twenty stolen checks deposited into that account fraudulently between 12/03/2016 and 01/03/2017.  Photographs obtained by ATM cameras from each deposit revealed that four different people made deposits and or cash withdraws from Oates account.  The suspects were identified as Oates, Michael Welch, Charles Lockridge III, and a fourth, unidentified suspect.      


On 01/07/2016, Deputies and members of the St. Helens Police Department executed search warrants at 56813 Raasee Lane, Warren, and 280 St Helens Street Apt A, St Helens.  During the search warrants, large amounts of stolen mail and check stubs were recovered.  Oates was present and taken into custody for his involvement in the case. He was later released pending completion of the investigation.  


Charles Lockridge III was located and arrested on 01/11/2016 while walking back to his apartment at 280 St Helens Street Aprt A.  Lockridge is currently in custody at the Columbia County Sheriff's Office.


On 01/12/2016 a Columbia County Deputy responded to a possible intoxicated driver who crashed near the intersection of Bennett Road and Old Portland Road.  When the Deputy arrived, the driver of the vehicle was identified as Michael Welch.  The vehicle that Welch was driving was a stolen Ford F150 from Hillsboro, OR.  Welch was taken into custody and the stolen truck was seized as evidence.  


On 01/13/2016 the Columbia County Sheriff's Office executed a search warrant on the stolen truck.  During the search warrant, Deputies recovered a large sum of stolen mail. 


During the course of the investigation, large amounts of stolen mail and packages were seized from victims who live in Portland, Hillsboro, Beaverton, Scappoose, Warren, St Helens, and Columbia City.  Deputies are continuing to investigate the incident and are contacting victims.  


 The suspects have been found to target mail boxes, steal mail, and search for checks in the stolen mail.  The suspects then take the checks to an ATM, deposit them, and immediately withdraw cash from the ATM.  They then return to the bank within days and withdraw more money from the account once the check clears.  The total amount stolen from the suspects is still unknown and part of the ongoing investigation. 

Columbia County Man in Custody on Child Sex Abuse Charges PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 13 January 2017 17:24
A St. Helens man is in custody today after a grand jury indictment on 20 counts of child sex abuse, including rape and sodomy charges. 

The Sheriff's Office arrested Joseph Mace, 55, yesterday after deputies put together a case of child sex abuse that had lasted approximately 10 years before the victim came forward last year. The investigation took several months to be completed. The victim, now 17, told investigators that the suspect and sexually abused her from the time she was 5 years old. 

Mace is lodged in the Columbia County jail on seven counts of Rape First Degree; seven Counts of Unlawful Sexual Penetration First Degree; two counts each of Unlawful Sexual Penetration Second Degree, and Sodomy First Degree; and, one count each of Sexual Abuse First Degree and Sexual Abuse Second degree. He is in custody with bail of $1,485,000 (full fail required
Fatal Fire Rainier Area PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 10 January 2017 00:16
On 01/09/17 the sheriff's office responded to a travel trailer fire at around 6:40AM,  on Wonderly Road near Rainier. This happened on a piece of private property where the resident was using the travel trailer as a primary residence. Columbia River Fire responded and extinguished the fire. While battling the fire they discovered a body in the front sleeping area of the trailer. 

A positive identification wasn't possible on scene and a  positive identification awaits findings from the the Oregon State Medical Examiner's Office.

The Oregon State Fire Marshal was called to assist along with Oregon State Police Arson investigators. After examining the scene, investigators believed that the cause of the fire was  likely from a space heater used inside the travel trailer. 

At this point in the investigation, deputies are treating this death as accidental. The body was transported to the State ME's Office for examination.

Further information is pending forensic results from the ME's Office.

Driver Drives Vehicle Into River at Scappoose Bay PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 04 January 2017 16:56
Our marine patrol responded to the Scappoose Bay Marina at 12:44 p.m. on report of a driver driving into the river at the boat ramp.  The female driver apparently stayed in the vehicle for a period of time as it began to sink, then she exited the vehicle.  Deputies arriving on scene interviewed the 46 year old female, who told us there was no one else in the vehicle.  As a precaution, we requested the assistance of the Multnomah County Sheriff's Dive Team, which responded and confirmed there was no one else in the vehicle.  The dive team also assisted us in attaching a tow line to the vehicle so we could get it to shore.   

The driver was detained for purposes of ascertaining whether she was a threat to her own safety.  She was taken to a Portland hospital for treatment of hypothermia and observation for potential mental illness.

The Marine patrol also scoured the area looking for any oil sheen from the submerged vehicle, and found none.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 January 2017 17:01
Sheriff's Office Beginning Clatskanie Patrols November 1 PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 14 October 2016 18:05

The City of Clatskanie and the Columbia County Sheriff's Office have agreed on a contract for the Sheriff to begin serving the municipal law enforcement needs in the City, effective November 1.

The agreement allows for a part-time chief (fulfilled by the Undersheriff) a part-time supervisor (A current CCSO sergeant) and two patrol deputies.  Deputies will also be able to take calls for service outside the City within the general boundaries of the Clatskanie School District.  The County will subsidize the operation with 15 percent of the costs in order to cover calls outside of City Limits.

"This is a win for the City of Clatskane, which will receive police services at a greatly reduced costs," said Sheriff Jeff Dickerson, "but it is also a win for the County, which will see reduced response times throughout the County with these deputies covering North County in a dedicated fashion."

This agreement came about when the City contacted the Sheriff's Office to discuss ways to provide the best scenario for police services with a reduced budget.  The City had previously provided a full-time chief, a full-time sergeant and three patrol officers.  The staffing has been cut in half due to City budget constraints.

The City has also issued the following information for Clatskanie Residents:


Last Updated on Friday, 14 October 2016 18:18
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