Police check for Chaney links to other crimes
EUGENE — Police say they're checking several recent, unsolved crimes for possible links to a man suspected in a daylong crime spree that killed a Northern California sheriff's deputy and an elderly Eugene man.
Authorities say Ricardo Chaney, 32, was killed in a March 19 shootout with a Fort Bragg, Calif., police officer.
Eugene police spokeswoman Melinda McLaughlin said Tuesday that one case under review is a March 11 armed robbery at an adult shop, The Register-Guard reported. An armed man fled after stealing cash.
Other unspecified crimes are getting a fresh look as well, she said.
Police believe the violence started in Eugene with the fatal shooting of a 79-year-old retired University of Oregon anthropology instructor. The police spokeswoman has said Chaney knew George Wasson's family.
Police say Chaney carjacked a BMW and headed for California, where authorities believe he fatally shot Mendocino County Deputy Ricky Del Fiorentino before being killed by another officer.
On March 6, Chaney was arrested in Eugene after a traffic stop. Police found him driving a friend's pickup without valid registration or insurance, and took him to the Lane County Jail after finding he had a concealed handgun in the vehicle's glove box as well as 14 Ecstasy tablets. Authorities are apparently still working to determine if an AR-15 rifle found in the pickup had been illegally modified to fire automatically.
Chaney spent 18 hours in jail and was released after Lane County prosecutors declined to file formal charges. District Attorney Alex Gardner said his office is not funded to employ enough prosecutors to file most misdemeanor charges and some felony cases, and that charges against Chaney weren't pursued at the time because they “fell below the current triage standards and involved no violence or threat of violence.”
Chaney's prior criminal record in Oregon included misdemeanor convictions in 2000 for third-degree escape, and in 2003 for disorderly conduct.
Information from: The Register-Guard, http://www.registerguard.com