Washington County Sheriff's Office
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News Releases
Booking Photo
Booking Photo
Man Arrested After Attempting to Burn Down Duplex in Cedar Hills (Photo) - 07/21/17

July 21, 2017 -- A man attempted to set fire to his own duplex in Cedar Hills. He was arrested after a nearly six hour standoff.

On Thursday, July 20, 2017, at 21:05 p.m., Washington County Sheriff's Office deputies responded to a welfare check in the 12900 block of SW Gentry Lane, located in the community of Cedar Hills. Initial reports were that a male was attempting to set fire to his own duplex.

Upon arrival, smoke could be seen coming from the residence intermittently. Deputies quickly surrounded the area and began evacuating nearby homes. Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue staged fire crews in the area.

The Washington County Crisis Negotiation Unit and Tactical Negotiations Unit, both inter-agency teams comprised of members from the sheriff's office and local police departments, responded to the incident. Negotiators communicated with the suspect, 47-year-old Roy Merritt, by phone for multiple hours.

Just before 3 a.m., deputies made entry into the residence and took Mr. Merritt into custody. More than one burn pile was found inside the home, which was checked by firefighters and turned over to detectives.

Mr. Merritt was lodged at the Washington County Jail for arson in the first degree and reckless endangering.

The sheriff's office would like to thank those displaced from their homes during the incident for their patience.

Attached Media Files: Media Release (PDF) , Booking Photo , Photo
Photo 2
Photo 2
Dump Truck Crashes Into Railroad Trestle After Failing to Lower Dump Bed (Photo) - 07/17/17

July 17, 2017 -- A dump truck failed to lower its dump bed and struck a railroad trestle. Northwest Helvetia Road near Northwest Phillips Road and the railway are closed until further notice.

On Monday, July 17, 2017, at 11:37 a.m., Washington County Sheriff's Office deputies responded to a traffic crash on Northwest Helvetia Road at the railroad trestle near Northwest Phillips Road outside of Hillsboro.

Deputies learned that a 2000 Mack dump truck, operated by V & K Construction, had not fully lowered its dump bed when it attempted to pass under the trestle. The truck struck the trestle, causing significant damage to the railway and dump truck.

The driver sustained minor injuries and was treated at the scene by Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue. He was later cited for violating posted use limits, careless driving, and no seat belt.

Due to safety concerns, Northwest Helvetia Road will be closed from Northwest Grossen Drive to NW Dierdorff Road until further notice. Drivers are asked to use alternate travel routes.

The railway, which is in active route operated by Portland & Western Railroad, is out of service until further notice.

Attached Media Files: Media Release (PDF) , Photo 2 , Photo 1
Suspect 1
Suspect 1
Deputies Ask for Public's Help Identifying Suspects After Home Burglary in Aloha (Photo) - 07/14/17

July 14, 2017 -- Over $22,000 in property and a vehicle were stolen during a residential burglary in Aloha. Detectives are asking for the public's help identifying involved suspects from store security video.

On June 16, 2017, deputies began investigating a residential burglary that occurred in the area of Southwest 187th Avenue and Southwest Bany Street in the community of Aloha. During the investigation, deputies learned that a home was burglarized while the resident was out of the country.

Detectives believe that two men dressed as construction workers used a pickup truck to burglarize the residence on June 16. Over $22,000 in electronics, jewelry, appliances, credit cards, and other personal items were stolen from inside the residence. A silver 2012 Mercedes ML350 sport utility vehicle was stolen from the garage and is still outstanding.

Detectives learned that the stolen credit cards were then used at various stores in downtown Portland, including Fred Meyer, Macy's, and Sears. Sheriff's detectives are asking for the public's assistance in identifying two suspects that were captured on store security cameras using credit cards stolen from the residence. Anyone with information is asked to call non-emergency dispatch at (503) 629-0111.

Media can contact the public information officer (PIO) to obtain the security videos. The victim is willing to speak with the media.

Attached Media Files: Media Release (PDF) , Suspect 1 , Suspect 2
Photo 2
Photo 2
Man Dies After Falling From Tree Outside of Banks (Photo) - 07/13/17

July 13, 2017 -- A male fell while climbing a tree outside of Banks, OR. He was pronounced deceased at the scene.

On Thursday, July 13, 2017, at 5:33 p.m., Washington County Sheriff's Office deputies responded to a medical assistance call in the 45300-block of Northwest Sunset Highway outside of Banks, OR. Initial reports were that a male had fallen from a tree.

The male, identified as 37-year-old Joseph Bradbury of Banks, was pronounced deceased at the scene. Based on witness statements, Mr. Bradbury was seen climbing a large cedar tree prior to being found unresponsive on the ground. He was associated with the property, though the reason he ascended the tree and what lead to his fall are unknown at this time.

Deputies were assisted by Banks Fire District, North Plains Police, and Oregon State Police. The Washington County Medical Examiner responded to the scene.

Mr. Bradbury's family has been notified.

Attached Media Files: Media Release (PDF) , Photo 2 , Photo 1
UPDATE: Female Missing from Aloha Located in Downtown Portland - 07/12/17

July 12, 2017 -- This evening, just after 6 p.m., Rebecca "Becky" Buhrle was located by Portland Police Bureau officers in the vicinity of Northwest Glisan Street and Northwest 4th Avenue in downtown Portland. Officers checked on her welfare and notified her family.

The Washington County Sheriff's Office would like to thank the Portland Police Bureau, the media, and the public for their assistance. The original media release is below.

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Detectives Need Help Locating Female Missing from Aloha

July 12, 2017 -- Detectives request the public's help in locating 42-year-old Rebecca "Becky" Buhrle. Ms. Buhrle's family reported that she has been missing since July 4th. She has health conditions that make her medically fragile.

On Monday, July 10, 2017, just before 4 p.m., Washington County Sheriff's Office deputies responded to the report of a missing person. Family members reported that 42-year-old Becky Buhrle was last seen on July 4, 2017 in the community of Aloha.

Ms. Buhrle has multiple health conditions that make her medically fragile. She does not have her medications with her and her family is deeply concerned by the length of time she has been gone.

She is new to the area, but is familiar with TriMet. She frequents the Tanasbourne area of Washington County.

If the public has information on Ms. Buhrle's whereabouts, they are asked to contact non-emergency dispatch at 503-629-0111.

The family does not wish to speak with the media.

Attached Media Files: Media
Becky Buhrle
Becky Buhrle
Detectives Need Help Locating Female Missing from Aloha (Photo) - 07/12/17

Media Release

Detectives Need Help Locating Female Missing from Aloha

July 12, 2017 -- Detectives request the public's help in locating 42-year-old Rebecca "Becky" Buhrle. Ms. Buhrle's family reported that she has been missing since July 4th. She has health conditions that make her medically fragile.

On Monday, July 10, 2017, just before 4 p.m., Washington County Sheriff's Office deputies responded to the report of a missing person. Family members reported that 42-year-old Becky Buhrle was last seen on July 4, 2017 in the community of Aloha.

Ms. Buhrle has multiple health conditions that make her medically fragile. She does not have her medications with her and her family is deeply concerned by the length of time she has been gone.

She is new to the area, but is familiar with TriMet. She frequents the Tanasbourne area of Washington County.

If the public has information on Ms. Buhrle's whereabouts, they are asked to contact non-emergency dispatch at 503-629-0111.

The family does not wish to speak with the media.

Attached Media Files: Media Release , Becky Buhrle
Graphic
Graphic
RESULTS: Deputies Arrest 86 Impaired Drivers During Month of June (Photo) - 07/10/17

Deputies Arrest 86 Impaired Drivers During Month of June

July 10, 2017 -- Deputies conducted enhanced patrols during the month of June focused on driving under the influence of intoxicants (DUII). Below are the results:

- Total DUII Arrests: 86
- Arrests made on grant funded patrols:17
- DUII Alcohol: 78
- DUII Drugs: 6
- DUII Felony: 1
- Undetermined: 1

Drive sober or get pulled over.

---------------------------------------------

Enhanced Impaired Driving Patrols During Month of June

May 30, 2017 -- Washington County Sheriff's Office deputies, in partnership with the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), will be providing extra patrols during the month of June to enhance safety on the roads.

In addition to extra patrols focused on impaired driving, deputies will also be looking for drivers who are speeding, following too closely, and distracted drivers using mobile communication devices. The results of the enhanced patrol will be provided in early July.

Washington County Sheriff's Office deputies frequently respond to numerous traffic-related incidents that could have been avoided. Deputies are reminding drivers to designate a sober driver, slow down, avoid distractions, and allow adequate following distances.

The Washington County Sheriff's Office would like everyone to have a safe and happy summer. Please remember to be safe and considerate while on the roads.

Attached Media Files: Media Release (PDF) , Graphic
Booking Photo
Booking Photo
UPDATE: Deputies Arrest Second Package Thief (Photo) - 07/06/17

Update -- Deputies Arrest Second Package Thief

July 6, 2017 -- The second suspect who stole $3,000 in packages, Shawna Boyd, contacted deputies this evening and turned herself in. She was lodged at the Washington County Jail for theft in the first degree (booking photo attached). The sheriff's office would like to thank the public and media for their assistance. The original media release is below.

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Deputies Arrest Package Thief, Ask for Public's Help Locating Second Suspect

July 3, 2017 -- Two females were caught on camera stealing $3,000 in packages from a residence in south Aloha. Deputies have arrested one suspect and are asking for the public's help locating the second suspect.

On June 20, 2017, Washington County Sheriff's Office deputies began investigating a package theft from a residence in the vicinity of SW 170th Avenue and SW Farmington Road in the community of Aloha.

During the investigation, deputies learned that that two unidentified females stole nine packages, valued at $3,000, from a residential porch the day prior. The entire incident was captured on the victim's security camera.

In the following days, local media outlets ran the security video on-air and deputies received numerous tips from the community. Based on those tips, the two suspects were identified as 33-year old Courtney Freymuller and 29-year-old Shawna Boyd, both of Beaverton.

On June 23, 2017, deputies located and arrested Ms. Freymuller in Hillsboro for an unrelated warrant. Deputies later charged her with theft in the first degree related to the theft of packages. She is currently lodged at the Washington County Jail.

Deputies are asking for the public's help locating Shawna Boyd. Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to call 503-629-0111.

The Washington County Sheriff's Office takes numerous proactive steps to deter property crimes and apprehend offenders, including deploying bait packages, vehicles, and bicycles. Deputies also remind the public to be home and sign for deliveries whenever possible.

Attached Media Files: Media Release (PDF) , Booking Photo
Graphic
Graphic
UPDATE: Deputies Arrest 10 DUII Drivers during Fourth of July Holiday, Remind Public to Not Use Illegal Fireworks (Photo) - 07/05/17

UPDATE:

July 5, 2017 -- Between the dates of July 1 through July 5, deputies conducted enhanced patrols focused on driving under the influence of intoxicants (DUII). During that period, deputies arrested a total of 10 DUII drivers. One of those arrests was for driving under the influence of narcotics, and two of those arrests were for felony DUIIs.

The arrest and apprehension of DUII drivers is an enforcement priority for the sheriff's office. On average, deputies arrest 1,000 impaired drivers each year. DUII is a 100% preventable crime.

Deputies would also like to remind the public to not use illegal fireworks. Use of illegal fireworks can result in arrest, citation, and possibly civil liability. Fireworks can be forfeited at any fire station, no questions asked.

The original Fourth of July holiday media releases are below.

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Enhanced Sheriff's DUII Patrols over Fourth of July Weekend

June 30, 2017 -- Washington County Sheriff's Office deputies, in partnership with the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), will be providing extra patrols on the road to enhance safety over the Fourth of July weekend.

In addition to extra patrols over the holiday weekend focused on impaired driving, deputies will also be looking for drivers that are speeding, following too closely, and distracted drivers using mobile communication devices. The enhanced patrols will continue through the entire month of July. The results of the enhanced patrol will be provided after the holiday weekend.

During holiday weekends, Washington County Sheriff's Office deputies respond to numerous traffic-related incidents that could have been avoided. Deputies are reminding drivers to designate a sober driver, slow down, avoid distractions, and allow adequate following distances.

The Washington County Sheriff's Office would like everyone to have a safe and happy Fourth of July weekend. Please remember to be safe and considerate while enjoying the holiday.

------------------------

June 29, 2017 -- The Washington County Sheriff's Office would like everyone to have a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July holiday.

Every year, sheriff's deputies respond to complaints of holiday gatherings and other celebrations that get out of hand due to intoxication and illegal fireworks. These complaints include injuries, property damage, and neighborhood disturbances. Pets and small children are also affected by loud noises from illegal fireworks, which are often used late into the night. The public should also consider that damage or injury caused by a careless act involving fireworks can bring significant civil liability.

Oregon law bans possession, use, or sale of fireworks that fly, explode, or travel more than six feet on the ground or 12 inches into the air. Fireworks commonly referred to as bottle rockets, roman candles, and firecrackers are illegal in Oregon. Using or possessing illegal fireworks in Oregon is a class C misdemeanor. The Oregon State Fire Marshal's provides information on legal and illegal fireworks.

Fire marshals with Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue (TVF&R) support enforcement by deputies and our agencies will be working closely together over the holiday to promote education and provide enforcement in the community.

Please remember to be safe, legal, and considerate while celebrating Independence Day.

Attached Media Files: Media Release (PDF) , Graphic
Security Camera Still
Security Camera Still
Deputies Arrest Package Thief, Ask for Public's Help Locating Second Suspect (Photo) - 07/03/17

July 3, 2017 -- Two females were caught on camera stealing $3,000 in packages from a residence in south Aloha. Deputies have arrested one suspect and are asking for the public's help locating the second suspect.

On June 20, 2017, Washington County Sheriff's Office deputies began investigating a package theft from a residence in the vicinity of SW 170th Avenue and SW Farmington Road in the community of Aloha.

During the investigation, deputies learned that that two unidentified females stole nine packages, valued at $3,000, from a residential porch the day prior. The entire incident was captured on the victim's security camera.

In the following days, local media outlets ran the security video on-air and deputies received numerous tips from the community. Based on those tips, the two suspects were identified as 33-year old Courtney Freymuller and 29-year-old Shawna Boyd, both of Beaverton.

On June 23, 2017, deputies located and arrested Ms. Freymuller in Hillsboro for an unrelated warrant (booking photo attached). Deputies later charged her with theft in the first degree related to the theft of packages. She is currently lodged at the Washington County Jail.

Deputies are asking for the public's help locating Shawna Boyd (previous booking photo from 2013 attached). Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to call 503-629-0111.

The Washington County Sheriff's Office takes numerous proactive steps to deter property crimes and apprehend offenders, including deploying bait packages, vehicles, and bicycles. Deputies also remind the public to be home and sign for deliveries whenever possible.

50-171830119_2121_32_AA.JPG
50-171830119_2121_32_AA.JPG
DUII Driver causes Crash with Injuries (Photo) - 07/02/17

Last night a driver who was over the legal alcohol limit caused a T-bone crash at the intersection of SW Bany Road and SW 170th Avenue. Two people were injured in the car that was struck by the DUII driver.

On Sunday, July 2, 2017, at about 1:42 am, sheriff's deputies responded to a crash at the intersection of SW Bany Rd. and SW 170th Avenue in Aloha. When they arrived they found two people in a 2015 Toyota Camry who were injured after being struck in the side of their car by a 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe driven by 34-year-old Edmund Scott of Beaverton.

Deputies investigating the crash determined that Mr. Scott most likely ran a red light traveling west on SW Bany Rd. and struck 57-year-old Somkhit Thilavan of Aloha in the passenger side of his car. Mr. Thilavan and his passenger, 55-year-old The Tai Ngo of aloha, both received non-life-threatening injuries and were transported to an area hospital where they were treated and released.

Deputies determined that Mr. Scott had been drinking and arrested him for DUII and two counts of Assault in the Fourth Degree. Mr. Scott's blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit.

The Washington County Sheriff's Office will have extra patrols out for the extended Fourth of July weekend concentrating on DUII and other traffic related behavior that causes crashes.

Enhanced Sheriff's DUII Patrols over Fourth of July Weekend - 06/30/17

June 30, 2017 -- Washington County Sheriff's Office deputies, in partnership with the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), will be providing extra patrols on the road to enhance safety over the Fourth of July weekend.

In addition to extra patrols over the holiday weekend focused on impaired driving, deputies will also be looking for drivers that are speeding, following too closely, and distracted drivers using mobile communication devices. The enhanced patrols will continue through the entire month of July. The results of the enhanced patrols will be provided after the holiday weekend.

During holiday weekends, Washington County Sheriff's Office deputies respond to numerous traffic-related incidents that could have been avoided. Deputies are reminding drivers to designate a sober driver, slow down, avoid distractions, and allow adequate following distances.

The Washington County Sheriff's Office would like everyone to have a safe and happy Fourth of July weekend. Please remember to be safe and considerate while enjoying the holiday.

Fireworks Graphic
Fireworks Graphic
Sheriff's Office Promotes a Safe Fourth of July Holiday (Photo) - 06/29/17

June 29, 2017 -- The Washington County Sheriff's Office would like everyone to have a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July holiday.

Every year, sheriff's deputies respond to complaints of holiday gatherings and other celebrations that get out of hand due to intoxication and illegal fireworks. These complaints include injuries, property damage, and neighborhood disturbances. Pets and small children are also affected by loud noises from illegal fireworks, which are often used late into the night. The public should also consider that damage or injury caused by a careless act involving fireworks can bring significant civil liability.

Oregon law bans possession, use, or sale of fireworks that fly, explode, or travel more than six feet on the ground or 12 inches into the air. Fireworks commonly referred to as bottle rockets, roman candles, and firecrackers are illegal in Oregon. Using or possessing illegal fireworks in Oregon is a class C misdemeanor. The Oregon State Fire Marshal's provides information on legal and illegal fireworks.

Fire marshals with Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue (TVF&R) support enforcement by deputies and our agencies will be working closely together over the holiday to promote education and provide enforcement in the community.

Please remember to be safe, legal, and considerate while celebrating Independence Day.

Photo 2
Photo 2
Updated: Motorcyclist Injured in Early-Morning DUII Crash (Photo) - 06/25/17

Updated Media Release
(Name corrected at 11:47am)

Motorcyclist Injured in Early-Morning DUII Crash

June 25, 2017 -- Early this morning, a motorcyclist was injured in a single-vehicle crash outside Forest Grove. His blood-alcohol content was nearly three times the legal limit. Deputies have been busy this weekend with DUII enforcement. One deputy made six DUII arrests in two nights.

On Sunday, June 25, 2017, at 12:20 a.m., Washington County Sheriff's Office deputies were dispatched to a single-vehicle motorcycle crash on B Street north of SW Stringtown Road, just outside the city of Forest Grove.

Samuel Zumwalt, 21, of Hillsboro, was injured in the crash. He was transported to a metro-area hospital for treatment of his injuries. Deputies were assisted at the scene by Forest Grove Police and Forest Grove Fire & Rescue.

The subsequent investigation revealed that speed and alcohol were factors in the crash. Mr. Zumwalt's blood-alcohol content was nearly three times the legal limit. He was cited for Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants (DUII). No mugshot is available.

Deputies have been very busy this weekend dealing with impaired drivers. Deputy Chris Gilderson of the Traffic Safety Unit made three DUII arrests on Friday night and another three on Saturday night.

Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants is a serious problem in our society. The Washington County Sheriff's Office is committed to aggressive enforcement of DUII laws. Our deputies arrest an average of 1,000 impaired drivers each year. Please report suspected impaired drivers to 911 or non-emergency dispatch at 503-629-0111.

Attached Media Files: Media Release , Photo 2 , Photo 1