By Paul Daquilante • Staff Writer • 

Rash of thefts stirs concern in Sheridan

Ehry was responding to a monthly summary provided by the sheriff’s office, which provides law enforcement services in Sheridan, and other smaller Yamhill County cities, under contract.

Monday night’s report reflected crimes reported during June. It included year-to-date, previous year and percentage change figures.

Ehry’s concern was shared by Deputy Justin Caughlin, who presented the report on behalf Sgt. Russ Vandewettering, head of the West Valley Substation serving Sheridan and Willamina. He said it’s important residents who have been victimized file reports, as that’s the only way crimes can be investigated and solved.

Mayor Val Adamson challenged residents to do their part by filing prompt and complete reports.

“You need to step up,” he said. “You can’t say, ‘Why me?’ and cry later.”

Ehry said he’d lost a $120 RV battery to a thief, and neighbors identified two possible suspects.

He said he’s seeing too much of that behavior. He said, “People are taking anything they can find in yards.”

But he said the monthly sheriff’s office reports don’t accurately reflect that, because too many residents forgo reporting.

A community meeting was held July 3 to focus on criminal activity occurring in the vicinity of Northwest Lincoln Street, where the city shops are located.

City Manager Frank Sheridan said Public Works Director Kie Cottom attended, as did Vandewettering and about 10 residents of the areas. He said plans are being laid for a broader community crime-fighting meeting early next month.

Sheridan said he received an e-mail from a city councilor who spotted two individuals on bicycles riding around his neighborhood about 2 a.m. Tuesday. He said the councilor felt they were looking for items they might steal.

“I think people are either hawking whatever they steal, or are doing this for the excitement,” he said. That kind of activity must be reported if the sheriff’s office is to identify patterns, develop suspects and take action, he said.

Sheridan Chamber of Commerce President Belinda Ogle noted the city already has one new anti-crime session slated. For the first time, she said, it plans to join in the National Night Out activities with a program set for 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 6, at City Park.

The event, whose principal focus is domestic and sexual violence aimed at women, will feature a potluck, children’s games, music and, hopefully, an appearance by McGruff, the crime-fighting dog, she said. She said the chamber would provide hot dogs as its potluck contribution.

“We have to get together as a community,” Ogle said. “We have to let everyone know, ‘We are tired of this and we are out there watching.’”

The chamber is encouraging residents and businesses to sponsor an activity that evening. Those interested in doing so are asked to contact Ogle at 971-241-2980.

In other business, the council:

n Approved a rate hike for Burrows Consulting Services from the current $65 an hour, established in 2004, to $70 an hour.

The company reviews plans, inspects buildings, prepares ordinances, reviews ordinances and oversees nuisance abatement actions.

In the course of those duties, its representatives may be required to participate in meetings with the council, city attorney or city manager, or in court proceedings.

n Was advised by Sheridan that the city had been approached about becoming a partner in a regional library system. He said it needed more information on what that might entrail and promised to keep the council informed.

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