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News Releases
Motorcyclist dies in early evening collision - 04/18/24

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                  

DATE: April 18, 2024

Motorcyclist dies in early evening collision

Salem, Ore. — At approximately 6:10 p.m. this evening, the Salem Police Traffic Team responded to a single-vehicle collision on the offramp of the Center Street Bridge involving a motorcyclist.

The Traffic Team’s preliminary investigation indicates the rider of the motorcycle was traveling eastbound over the bridge. As the motorcyclist negotiated the sweeping right curve to proceed down the off-ramp, he lost control of the motorcycle and collided with the concrete barrier. The impact vaulted the rider across the barrier and approximately 30 feet down to the ground below the bridge.

The driver is identified as 27-year-old Mark Steven Sewell of Salem. Sewell was pronounced deceased at the scene.

The southbound off-ramp to Front ST NE was closed for approximately two-and-a-half hours while the collision was investigated.

To date in 2024, the Salem Police Department has responded to nine major traffic collisions resulting in nine deaths.

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The pattern of the keys is purposely omitted.
The pattern of the keys is purposely omitted.
Second arrest in mail theft investigation (Photo) - 04/16/24

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                  

DATE: April 16, 2024

 

Second arrest in mail theft investigation

Salem, Ore. — Salem Police Felony Crimes Unit detectives have arrested a second suspect in the ongoing investigation of mail theft occurring in Salem.

Brett Todd Regimbal, age 49, of Salem was arrested yesterday as a part of a search warrant served at his residence in the 1200 block of 14th AV NW. Due to firearms concerns in multiple investigations involving Regimbal, the Salem Police SWAT team assisted with the service of the warrant. 

Regimbal did not immediately exit the residence. After nearly seven hours and all attempts by the Crisis Negotiations Team to communicate with him were exhausted, the house was cleared with a police canine resulting in the location and subsequent apprehension of the suspect.

Detectives, with the assistance of the United States Postal Inspection Service, located further evidence of mail theft, including counterfeit mail keys, as well as evidence of identity theft and fraud, and small quantities of methamphetamine and a substance suspected to be fentanyl. 

After receiving medical clearance for his bite from the police canine, Regimbal was lodged at the Polk County Jail on the following charges connected to the mail theft investigation, as well as charges from a concurrent domestic violence investigation:

  • Strangulation
  • Possession of a burglary tool or device
  • Identity theft
  • Criminal possession of a forged instrument, first-degree
  • Interfering with a peace officer

Regimbal also had two outstanding warrants out of Marion and Yamhill counties. 

The investigation remains active; however, with Regimbal’s arrest, all further inquiries into this case should be directed to the Polk County District Attorney’s Office

As reminder, residents who are victims of mail theft are urged to immediately file reports with the Salem Police Department and the United States Postal Inspection Service. Proactive measures to prevent mail theft are also encouraged through the use of notifications for standard mail and package delivery services.

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Two-vehicle collision in southeast Salem leaves one dead - 04/12/24

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                  

DATE: April 12, 2024

Two-vehicle collision in southeast Salem leaves one dead

Salem, Ore. — Just before 11:00 p.m. Thursday night, April 11, emergency responders were called to the intersection of Kuebler BV and Battle Creek RD SE on the report of a two-vehicle collision.

The preliminary investigation indicates the two vehicles crashed when the driver of a Honda sedan traveling eastbound on Kuebler BV initiated a northbound turn onto Battle Creek RD in front of a Mercedes sedan traveling westbound on Kuebler BV. The two vehicles collided with the Honda coming to rest on the north-west corner of Kuebler BV and Battle Creek RD, leaving that driver deceased.

The driver of the Honda is identified as David Joel Luna, age 22, of Salem. 

The driver of the second vehicle is identified as Hunter Dillon Quinn, age 20, of Salem. He was transported to Salem Health with non-life-threatening injuries. Quinn is cooperating with the investigation.

Travel along Kuebler BV between Battle Creek RD and 27th AV SE was affected for approximately three hours for investigation and clearing of the scene.

Electrical power in the area was affected due to the impact from one of the involved vehicles into utility boxes in the area. Portland General Electric continues their work today. Customers should contact the company directly for updates.

Temporary stop signs for traffic control at the intersection of Kuebler BV and Battle Creek RD are in place until electricity is restored.

The incident remains an active investigation, and as such, no arrest or citation has occurred. 

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SMP24021607_Items_seized_in_the_service_of_the_search_warrant.jpeg
SMP24021607_Items_seized_in_the_service_of_the_search_warrant.jpeg
Detectives arrest one in connection with mail theft, multiple federal charges pending (Photo) -- UPDATE 2 - 04/11/24

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                  

DATE: March 26, 2024

CONTACT:     Salem Police Communications Office | spdmedia@cityofsalem.net

 

Detectives arrest one in connection with mail theft, multiple federal charges pending

Additional personal documents discovered, list updated

Updated 04/11/2024 | 10:30 a.m.

The effort to return documents to more than 200 people continues. As the investigation has progressed, detectives discovered additional documents belonging to more individuals. 

The list of persons whose documents are ready for return has been updated.

Residents or business owners who suspect they may have lost documents through theft are urged to review the list on the weblink at salempd.info/document-return.

To begin the recovery of the property, the document owner must:

  • Complete the online form.
  • Pick up the property at the Salem Police Station, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The address is 333 Division ST NE.
  • Bring valid identification, such as your government identification or driver license.

Further instructions are available on the webpage.

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Police to return personal and financial documents collected in the investigation

Updated 03/28/2024 | 2:00 p.m.

Felony Crimes Unit detectives finished sorting through all the documents seized as part of a lengthy mail theft investigation which resulted in the arrest of Ross Benjamin Sierzaga, age 33, of Salem on March 25. 

To help expedite the return of hundreds of personal documents to their rightful owners, a webpage with information has been created. Residents who suspect they may have lost documents through theft can determine if they are on the list of individuals who can recover their property.

Things to know:

  • The web address for the page is salempd.info/document-return
  • If your name is listed, complete the form to start the process of retrieving your property.
  • Items must be picked up by the owner. 
  • The owner must present valid identification, such as your state-issued ID or driver license.
  • You may pick up your property at the Salem Police Station, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The address is 333 Division ST NE.
  • Additional instructions are available on the webpage.

All residents should note, any unopened mail collected as part of this investigation will be returned by the US Postmaster. 

Any Salem residents who have been a victim of mail theft but have not yet reported it, should do so at salempd.info/online-report. Theft of mail should also be reported to the US Postal Inspection Service online or by calling 1-877-876-2455.

Detectives urge any victims of identity theft to visit the Federal Trade Commission Identity Theft website, www.identitytheft.org, for helpful information and recommend an identity theft alert be registered with the three major consumer reporting companies, EquifaxExperian, and TransUnion.

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Originally published 03/26/2024 | 1:30 p.m.

Salem, Ore. — A 33-year-old Salem man was arrested yesterday, March 25, during the service of a warrant at an apartment in southeast Salem.

Salem Police patrol officers arrested Ross Benjamin Sierzega on Monday afternoon without incident on multiple warrants stemming from a nearly two-year investigation by Felony Crimes Unit detectives into incidents of mail theft and related crimes in the Salem area. 

Following the arrest, a search warrant was served in partnership with the United States Postal Inspection Service at Sierzega’s apartment in the 3300 block of Crawford ST SE. The search of the dwelling resulted in the seizure of two lock cores from community mailboxes, several counterfeit mailbox keys and tools to manufacture the counterfeit keys, multiple checks, bank cards, and financial documents not in Sierzega’s name, and approximately 30 pounds of mail. In addition to the evidence collected, detectives seized a short-barreled shotgun and home-made body armor.

Sierzega is currently in custody of the US Marshals Service on federal charges related to this investigation. In addition to 11 outstanding Oregon warrants, Sierzega was charged with the following:

  • Felon in possession of a firearm
  • Unlawful possession of a short-barreled shotgun
  • Felon in possession of body armor
  • Identity theft
  • Forgery, first-degree
  • Criminal possession of a forged instrument, first-degree
  • Possession of burglary tools

Sierzega will make his initial appearance in federal court today, March 26, on a federal warrant which was based on charges of mail theft, aggravated identity theft, and bank fraud. Under US Code, manufacture of a counterfeit mail key carries a maximum sentence of 10 years upon conviction. 

Of the investigation, Salem Police Chief Trevor Womack noted, “I know so many residents have been directly impacted in recent years all across our city as victims of this far too prevalent and pernicious crime. The suspect’s arrest hopefully brings some sense of justice to victims and signals to those who would steal mail and commit fraud that we take these crimes seriously.”

The chief of police also commended the collaborative work done by Salem Police detectives and the US postal inspectors involved, “My thanks to the detectives who were relentless in their investigative efforts. I am also grateful for the excellent working relationship we have with the US Postal Inspection Service.”

Felony Crimes Unit detectives will spend the next several weeks reaching out to victims to return stolen property seized in the investigation. The US Postal Inspection Service will handle the processing and return of the stolen mail.

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One deceased, one injured in early morning shooting incident -- UPDATE 2 - 04/05/24

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                  

DATE: April 4, 2024

One deceased, one injured in early morning shooting incident

Suspect in custody

Update 04/05/2024 | 5:30 p.m.

Detectives have arrested Arlie Calvin Michael Thompson, age 23 of Salem, as part of the shooting incident Wallace Marine Park on April 4, 2024 which resulted in the death of Charley Allen Hodges and left another man injured.

At approximately 3:15 p.m. today, a Salem Police SWAT team served a search warrant at a residence in the 4800 block of Northstar CT NE and arrested Thompson without incident.

Thompson will be lodged at the Polk County Jail on the following charges:

  • Murder, second-degree
  • Attempted murder, first-degree
  • Kidnap, first-degree
  • Unlawful use of a weapon

Given the apprehension of the suspect in this case, any further media inquiries into this investigation should be directed to the Polk County District Attorney’s Office.

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Update 04/04/2024 | 3:15 p.m.

Violent Crimes Unit detectives continue to investigate this morning’s shooting incident at Wallace Marine Park.

The initial investigation indicates a dispute over property occurred at a homeless campsite in the north side of the park. During the argument, one of the men fired a gun which killed 29-year-old Charley Allen Hodges and injured a 25-year-old man. No other weapons were used in the incident.

The identity of the surviving victim, who remains hospitalized, is not being released at this time pending notification to family.

No arrests have been made, and the investigation into the incident continues.

Wallace Marine Park is now open to the public.

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Originally published 04/04/2024 | 9:45 a.m.

Salem, Ore. — Salem Police officers are actively investigating a shooting incident which occurred over night in Wallace Marine Park.

Just after 3:00 a.m. today, officers were called to the north area of the park on the report of a shooting incident. Officers located one adult male victim with a gunshot wound and deceased. Another adult man was found with a gunshot wound and transported to Salem Health with a non-life-threatening injury.

Wallace Marine Park remains closed, and residents should avoid the area while the scene is investigated.

The incident is an active investigation and no arrests have been made at this point.

“We understand there is much speculative information on social media concerning the incident,” said public information officer Angela Hedrick, “We ask the public to follow our communications platforms for details concerning this investigation.”

As additional information becomes available, an update will be published.

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Early morning collision leaves one injured, one deceased - 04/02/24

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                  

DATE: April 2, 2024

 

Early morning collision leaves one injured, one deceased

Salem, Ore. — On Tuesday, April 2 at 6:37 a.m., Salem police and fire personnel responded to a two-vehicle crash at the intersection of Commercial ST and Ewald AV SE. 

The preliminary investigation by the Salem Police Traffic Team determined the driver of an SUV was traveling southbound on Commercial ST in the northbound lanes when he crashed into a pick-up truck which was traveling northbound on Commercial ST. The vehicles collided head on in the 3800 block. 

The driver of the SUV, 38-year-old Thomas Edward Cesna of Salem, was transported to Salem Health with non-life-threatening injuries. The driver of the pick-up truck, 52-year-old Jose Refugio Hernandez-Orozco of Salem, was also transported to Salem Health where he later died from injuries received from the collision.

Cesna is currently hospitalized but in police custody with pending charges of second-degree manslaughter, reckless driving, reckless endangering, and driving under the influence of an intoxicant.

The northbound lanes of Commercial ST were closed between Ewald and Oak Hill AV SE for eight hours while the area was cleared, and the incident investigated.

Today’s incident is the Traffic Team’s seventh major traffic collision investigation, resulting in the seventh traffic fatality of 2024.

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