Brothers held after allegedly drilling into gas tank
When a Ford Explorer pulled up in front of a house in the 1000 block of Terrace Drive on Monday night, the homeowner didn't think much of it. But when two men got out of the SUV with a gas can in hand and crawled underneath her Jeep, she figured it was time to call the police.
Turns out she was right.
Responding officers arrested Jonathan Paul Fredricks, 39, and his brother Sean Erik Fredricks, 41, after determining that the men had used a drill to puncture the Jeep's gas tank and siphoned fuel into the containers they brought with them.
The pair had drained about a gallon of gas by the time officers arrived, according to LOPD Lt. Darryl Wrisley, although much of it had leaked onto the street and down a nearby storm drain. Crews from the Lake Oswego Fire Department were eventually called to clean up the mess.
According to Wrisley, the men claimed that their car had broken down and that they were simply waiting for a girlfriend who had gone to get help. But when officers contacted the girlfriend, she told them she had not been with the Fredricks brothers and knew nothing about the attempted heist.
Police then searched the Explorer, where they found gas cans and a drill; piles of stolen mail — including checks, tax documents and other sensitive material, some from the same Lake Oswego neighborhood; and a variety of drug paraphernalia, including a meth pipe and a baggie containing what appeared to be methamphetamine. Officers also recovered approximately 40 keys and a black dagger from the SUV and its occupants.
Wrisley said the case appears to be an isolated incident, although it will take investigators a while to go through the mail found in Sean Fredricks' vehicle. Both men were being held Thursday in Clackamas County Jail.
Jonathan Fredricks was charged with mail theft, first-degree criminal mischief, third-degree theft and possession of a controlled substance, as well as a parole violation. Sean Fredricks was charged with mail theft, first-degree criminal mischief, third-degree theft and being a felon in possession of a restricted weapon.
Bail was set at $40,000 for Jonathan Fredricks and $75,000 for his brother. They are expected to appear in court next week.