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Sandy Lenox to serve 90 months for her part in thefts on evacuated properties during wildfires

Sandy Faye Lenox, 35, was sentenced Oct. 12 to 90 months in prison for her role in multiple residential burglaries occurring within the south county evacuation zone during last year's Clackamas County wildfires.

During the afternoon of Sept. 11, 2020, Clackamas County Sheriff's Office deputies were conducting patrols of impacted areas and evacuation zones during the Clackamas County wildfires, watching for potential burglaries and other criminal activity.

COURTESY PHOTO: CCSO - Sandy Faye Lenox was sentenced to 90 months in prison for her role in multiple residential burglaries in Mulino and Molalla areas during 2020 wildfire evacuations

Around 2 p.m. they investigated a report of two suspicious individuals possibly walking onto a property on Ringo Road near Mulino.

Deputies arrived and found James Dean Shotwell, 34, and Sandy Faye Lenox, then 34, with no fixed address.

After an investigation, deputies determined that Shotwell and Lenox had stolen two gas-powered generators, a box of hand tools, including a cordless drill, two leaf blowers and at least one gas can, from a neighboring property.

Shotwell and Lenox were both arrested and transported to the Clackamas County Jail on charges of Theft I and Burglary II.

COURTESY PHOTO: CCSO - A sampling of some of the items stolen by Sandy Lenox and James Shotwell during the wildfire evacuations in September 2020.

The arrest soon led to the recovery of other stolen items, the development of separate cases and additional criminal charges for Lenox.

During the Sept. 11 call, a stolen John Deere Gator side-by-side utility vehicle also was discovered in a nearby wooded area. Shotwell had the key to the stolen utility vehicle in his pocket. The John Deere had been stolen out of Molalla. This led to the recovery of more stolen property, including a Polaris Ranger side-by-side utility vehicle.

Additional investigations of crimes involving Lenox followed. A search of Lenox's red 2001 Volkswagen Golf on Sept. 16, 2020, led to the recovery of a trove of additional stolen items, including jewelry, precious metals and gems, clothing, tools, a laptop computer, antique and collectible coins, purses and handbags, a high-end sewing machine, a toaster oven and other items.

COURTESY PHOTO: CCSO - A coin collection was one of the many items stolen during the wildfires in 2020.

Many of the victims in these burglary cases had evacuated their homes during the wildfires.

On Nov. 20, 2020, Shotwell pleaded guilty to second-degree burglary and first-degree theft in the first degree regarding his involvement in the burglary investigation. Shotwell was sentenced to 18 months in prison at that time.

On Sept. 21, 2021, Lenox pleaded guilty to the following: two counts of first-degree burglary; four counts of second-degree burglary; four counts of first-degree theft; and one count of second-degree attempted burglary.


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