By News-Register staff • 

Newberg man charged in car fires case

Charles Lord Chaffee IV
Charles Lord Chaffee IV

NEWBERG - A Newberg man has been charged in a 17-count Yamhill Grand Jury indictment with allegedly setting multiple car fires in two South Everest Road locations in late March.

It's also alleged the suspect stole items from several vehicles in the area where the car fires occurred, and that he burglarized a business.

Eighteen witnesses testified before the grand jury, including four members of the Newberg-Dundee Police Department.

Charles Lord Chaffee IV, 31, faces the following charges:

* Three counts of second-degree arson, Class C felony.

* Two counts of second-degree burglary, Class C felony.

* Three counts of unlawful entry into a motor vehicle, Class A misdemeanor.

* Two counts of second-degree criminal mischief, Class A misdemeanor.

* Two counts of second-degree theft, Class A misdemeanor.

* Two counts of attempt to commit a Class C/unclassified felony, Class A misdemeanor.

* Three counts of third-degree theft, Class C misdemeanor.

He is lodged in jail on $150,000 bail on the local charges. He also has a Union County, Oregon hold, with a bail of $10,000.

Capt. Jeff Kosmicki gave this account of the events leading up to Chaffee's arrest:

About 12:30 a.m. on Sunday, March 29, officers responded with the Newberg Fire Department to a report of two cars on fire in the parking lot of an apartment complex in the 400 block of South Everest Road.

About 45 minutes later, officers responded to a second reported car fire in the area of a mobile home park in the 300 block of South Everest Road.

During the investigation, officers learned that a residence had a surveillance camera that recorded the area where the fire occurred.

About 1:45 a.m., officers received a report from a citizen of two suspicious males in the area Portland Road (Highway 99W) and First Street. An officer contacted the men in the area of First and River streets.

The officer that stopped to identify the men recognized them and said they were intoxicated. After the officer broke contact with the men, he was notified by the Newberg-Dundee Communications Center that one of them - Chaffee - was on probation through community corrections.

Officers responded to the residence that had surveillance video available, and believed a male shown in the footage was Chaffee, who was one of the males they had contacted.

An officer tried to locate him. And, about 2:30 a.m., officers located Chaffee near his residence in the 600 block of South Center Street. His probation officer was contacted and a detainer was issued for his arrest.

During a search, items were removed from Chaffee that were later reported stolen from several vehicles in the area of the car fires, as well as a laptop computer that was taken during a business burglary in the same area.

Chaffee was arraigned Friday before Judge Cynthia Easterday, who appointed McMinnville attorney Abraham Hanson to handle his defense.


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