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News Releases
Menacing, Theft and Interfering with a 911 Call - 02/14/19

On February 11th,2019 Officers responded to a business in the 200 Block of NW Coast Street for a 911 Hang-up call., Dispatchers had attempted to call the business several times with no success. Officers arrived on the scene and learned a  subject had been in the business creating a disturbance.

Investigation revealed, Zebedee Matthew Shultz, 36, of Newport, had entered the business in an enraged state and began arguing with customers, threatening to hurt or kill them. Shultz left the business, but returned, a short time later and demanded his money back for a beverage he had purchased earlier. When an employee was not able to refund him his money, Shultz became violent again, making threats to staff and patrons. Shultz grabbed the money out of the employee tip jar and left the business a second time. About five minutes later Shultz returned a third time. This time he got into a verbal argument with a customer  eventually pushing the customer. The customer entered the business to use the phone to call for police, but Shultz grabbed the phone away and left  with the phone.

An employee followed Shultz out of the business and down the street, attempting to retrieve the phone. Shultz realized the employee was behind him and began threatening the employee, chasing after the employee while verbally threatening to kill him.

Officers located Shultz in the immediate area.. Further investigation revealed Shultz had thrown the business phone on top of a nearby roof, then walked to his own residence,  a short distance away. At his residence, Shultz changed his clothes and grabbed two knives before heading back towards the business  when he was intercepted by police. Shultz told officers he had only grabbed the knives because he was scared of the people at the business and that he was just going for a walk.

Zebedee Matthew Shultz was arrested and  lodged at the Lincoln County Jail for;

  • Menacing
  • Theft 3
  • Disorderly Conduct

Apartment Fire - 02/14/19

At 1:32 PM on Wednesday, February 13, 2019, Newport Fire Department was dispatched to a report of smoke coming from a third floor apartment at the 700 block of NW Beach Drive. Upon arrival observed light smoke coming from the third story near the rear of the building. The business located on the first floor was closed.

Fire crews made access and extinguished a small fire in a third story apartment. The adjacent occupancy was opened and checked for damage, however none was found. Fire damage did not extend to any additional businesses or residences. Fire damage was contained to a dryer; however, the rest of the apartment did suffer some smoke damage.
Newport Fire Department received mutual aid assistance from Depoe Bay Fire District, Seal Rock Fire District, and Toledo Fire Dept. Newport Police Dept. and Newport Public Works provided assistance with traffic control.

Newport Fire Department responded with 2 fire engines, 1 ladder truck, 1 heavy rescue, 2 chief officers and 11 firefighters.

The cause of the fire was determined to be a build of lint in the dryer. Newport Fire Department reminds you to clean your dryer lint trap after every use.

Narcotics Search Warrant (Photo) - 02/06/19

On February 5th, 2019 the Newport Police Department served a narcotics related search warrant at a trailer located at 3703 E Alsea Hwy, Waldport, The King Silver RV Park. Officers had been receiving information that the occupants of the trailer, Thomas Caldwell, 27, and his girlfriend, Peggy Bates, 60, had been selling large amounts of heroin and methamphetamine to others in the South County and Newport area. In addition to selling narcotics, investigators learned Caldwell and Bates were also accepting stolen property in exchange for narcotics.

Newport K9 Nero was used during the service of the warrant and the subsequent search of the trailer. In the trailer officers located a Firearm, Heroin, Methamphetamine, drug packaging materials, digital scales and other evidence of drug use and sales. Officers also located items suspected stolen, including a large television, a Drone, silver flatware, and a large amount of jewelry.

The Newport Police were assisted at the scene by a Lincoln County Sheriff’s Deputy.

Arrested at the scene and lodged in the Lincoln County Jail were the following persons for the following charges;

Thomas Caldwell, 27

  • Delivery of a Controlled Substance – Methamphetamine
  • Possession of a Controlled Substance – Methamphetamine
  • Manufacturing of a Controlled Substance – Methamphetamine
  • Delivery of a Controlled Substance – Heroin
  • Possession of a Controlled Substance – Heroin
  • Manufacturing of a Controlled Substance – Heroin
  • Frequenting/ Maintaining a Place Where Controlled Substances are Kept or Used
  • Felon in Possession of Restricted Weapon - Firearm

Peggy D Bates, 60

  • Delivery of a Controlled Substance – Methamphetamine
  • Possession of a Controlled Substance – Methamphetamine
  • Manufacturing of a Controlled Substance – Methamphetamine
  • Delivery of a Controlled Substance – Heroin
  • Possession of a Controlled Substance – Heroin
  • Manufacturing of a Controlled Substance – Heroin

Attached Media Files: Bates.jpg , Caldwell.jpg
Burglary/Stolen Vehicle Arrest (Photo) - 02/06/19

On February 3rd,2019 the Newport Police Department responded to the 1100 Block of SW 11th Street on a report of a subject trespassing on properties and attempting  to enter residences. Officers arrived and searched the area. While in the area, an officer was flagged down by a victim, who reported the subject, later identified as Steven Philip Lent, 30, of Florence, OR, had entered the victim’s residence without consent. The victim confronted Lent, who then fled from the victim’s residence.

Newport officers continued to search the area for Lent. While searching a witness called and reported they watched a male subject looking into vehicles and attempting to gain entry into vehicles near the US Coast Guard Station. The witness reported the subject gained entry into a vehicle and was driving away from the area in the vehicle. Officers located the vehicle driving northbound on Hwy 101 away from the scene.

Newport officers conducted a high-risk traffic stop on the vehicle near SW 5th Street and SW Alder Street, and took the driver, identified as Steven Lent, into custody. Lent admitted to using methamphetamine and believed the vehicle belonged to a relative. Officers were able to located the vehicle’s owner, who was at work during the incident and was unaware their vehicle was stolen.

Steven Philip Lent was arrested and transported to the Lincoln County Jail on the following charges;

  • Burglary 1st
  • Criminal Mischief 3rd
  • Criminal Trespass 1st
  • Criminal Trespass 2nd
  • Unauthorized Entry Motor Vehicle
  • Unauthorized Use Motor Vehicle
  • Possession of Controlled Substance - Methamphetamine

Attached Media Files: Lent.jpg
Child Pornography Arrest (Photo) - 01/30/19

On January 28, 2019, Newport Officers responded to the Starbucks on a report of a cell phone that had been found in the public bathroom. The complainant, who located the phone, described seeing images on it which were consistent with being child pornography. An additional witness at the location described the man who left the phone. 

While the Newport Officer was on scene, 48 year MARTIN LAFEVER  a local transient of Newport,  who matched the witness description, entered the building and asked Starbucks staff about the cell phone he had lost in the bathroom. Employees then pointed LAFEVER out to the Newport Officer.  The Officer contacted LAFEVER who verified it was indeed his phone that had been located in the bathroom. LAFEVER claimed the phone was exclusively in his possession for the past several weeks. When first asked, LAFEVER denied any knowledge of images of children on his phone.

LAFEVER consented to a search of his phone. During the search, images depicting child pornography and internet search terms relating to child pornography were located. LAFEVER admitted to using the internet search terms but denied any knowledge of the images. Further search revealed more images and videos depicting sexually explicit conduct of a child. LAFEVER then admitted having the images on his phone, but stated some of the images had loaded and saved themselves on his phone. Officers were able to show the images had been downloaded and moved between locations on the phone and the “cloud.”    

LAVFEVER was lodged at the Lincoln County Jail on nine (9) counts of Encouraging Child Sexual Abuse. His bail was set at $450,000.

The Newport Police Department wants to thank our citizens for reporting this incident and potentially preventing a more dangerous situation. The Newport Police Tip Line is available at 541-574-5455, or Text-a-Tip at 541-270-1856. If you have any information regarding this case, contact Officer Bales or Detective France at the Newport Police Department at 541-574-3348.

Attached Media Files: Lafever
Kidnap Suspect Arrested (Photo) - 01/24/19

On January 17, 2019, Newport Police Department conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle for a traffic violation. During the traffic stop a male passenger exited the passenger seat of the violator vehicle and walked away. At the time of stop, officers did not have a lawful reason to detain the passenger.

During contact with the driver, Officers discovered she was a missing and endangered person out of California. A criminal investigation was initiated and Officers learned that Lawson Reed Rankin, 35 year old California resident, was the passenger inside the vehicle that walked away. Officers further discovered that Lawson Rankin was a wanted fugitive in connection with the Missing Person out of California.

Newport Police Department continued a criminal investigation involving the circumstances, which led to the driver of the vehicle being listed as Missing out of California. The investigation revealed the missing person was held against her will for an extended period of time by Rankin, and transported from California to Oregon.

On January 22, 2019 Newport Police Department obtained an Indictment warrant charging Lawson Rankin with Kidnapping in the First Degree, Assault in the Second Degree, Rape in the First Degree, Sodomy in the First Degree, Strangulation, Coercion, Endangering a Person Protected a Family Abuse Prevention Act Restraining Order, Assault in the Fourth Degree, and Causing Another Person to Ingest a Controlled Substance.

On January 23, 2019, with the assistance from the US Marshals and the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, Lawson Rankin was located in Toledo, Oregon and taken into custody. Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office K9 “Nix” assisted in the apprehension of Lawson Rankin.

Lawson Rankin was lodged at the Lincoln County Jail on a “No Bail” warrant.

The name of the female driver from the traffic stop is being withheld at this time. The criminal investigation is continuing.

Attached Media Files: ZI8TVUGC.jpg