West Linn police respond to early-morning crime spree
West Linn Police responded to an unusual early-morning crime-spree in the Bolton area Tuesday, Jan. 23, which began on Skyline Circle and ended with a man carrying a gun inside stolen overalls being apprehended on West A Street.
According to West Linn Police spokesman Jeff Halverson, the saga began around 4:30 a.m. when a resident on Skyline Circle woke up to sounds of a Mini Cooper vehicle being stolen. The vehicle had been left in an unlocked garage with the keys inside, and when police arrived they were not able to locate the vehicle.
Around 6:40 a.m., personnel at Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue Station 58 on nearby Failing Street noticed a light was on inside the vacant old Bolton Fire Station across the street. Upon further inspection they saw a man inside the station and called the police.
When police arrived, they saw a man in overalls carrying two suitcases and walking down West A Street. Officers approached the man, who was identified as 33-year-old Roger Shane Womack, and found that he was also carrying a handgun in the pocket of his overalls. Womack was transported to the West Linn Police Station, and around that time police learned of three additional car break-ins that took place on West A and Broadway streets between the Skyline Circle home and the old fire station.
Eventually, police determined that one of the suitcases and overalls belonged to the West Linn Historical Society, as did several other items like tools and costume jewelry that were recovered during the arrest.
"Inside the suitcase was a mix of clothes — shirts and hats — and a hairbrush," Halverson said.
Historical Society Vice President Danny Schreiber said Tuesday afternoon that the group had not been allowed into the building yet to take a full inventory.
"We did identify a few items, mostly props and costumes from the Willamette Living History Tour, including the suitcase used by our traveling salesman character, the silver hair brush in the same scene and a newsboy hat," Schreiber said in an email. "He was apprehended wearing a pair of overalls that our farmer character and others have used as well."
The gun, as well as a wallet and knife, had been taken during the car break-ins, and police said Womack was also carrying other sets of keys and items that may have been taken during unreported car break-ins. As of Tuesday afternoon, no additional break-ins had been reported.
The Mini Cooper, meanwhile, was found in a driveway on West A Street and returned to its owners.
Womack was eventually transported to Clackamas County Jail. During the car ride, police said he repeatedly kicked the door of the patrol car and caused enough damage that the car was taken out of service until it could be repaired.
"He was actually really calm when he was in the holding cell (at WLPD)," Halverson said. "It wasn't until he was put in the patrol car that he yelled and screamed and kicked the back door until it broke."
In the end, Womack faced a total of 11 different charges: unlawful use of a motor vehicle, four counts of unlawful entry into a motor vehicle, first degree burglary, criminal trespassing, first degree theft, felon in possession of a weapon, theft of a firearm, criminal mischief, possession of methamphetamine, carrying a concealed weapon and possession of burglary tools.
Police said residents in the Skyline Drive, Summit Street and West A Street area should check and see if their cars were broken into overnight. Halverson added that people should always lock their homes and vehicles and should never leave anything of value in a vehicle overnight.