Salem Police Department
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News Releases
Officers responding to CPR call, arrive to find one female deceased -- UPDATE 2 - 09/20/23

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                  

DATE: September 20, 2023

CONTACT:     Salem Police Communications Office |



Officers responding to CPR call, arrive to find one female deceased 

Suspect in custody

Update: 09/20/2023 | 1:30 p.m.

Please note: Raul Scotte Martinez is 23 years of age, not 22 as previously published.

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Update: 09/20/2023 | 11:00 a.m.

Salem, Ore. — A suspect in the death investigation of Janet Ramos-Hernandez of Gresham is now in custody.

Raul Scotte Martinez, age 22 of Woodburn, surrendered to authorities yesterday evening, September 19. He is now in custody at the Marion County Jail on the following charges:

  • Murder, second degree
  • Felon in possession of a weapon

Over the last several weeks, detectives from the Salem Police Violent Crimes Unit worked all available leads and served several warrants as part of this investigation which pointed to Martinez as involved in the incident.

Martinez will be arraigned at the Marion County Circuit Court Annex today at 2:30 p.m. on the listed charges

Any further media inquiries into this investigation should be directed to the Marion County District Attorney’s Office.

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Officers responding to CPR call, arrive to find one female deceased

Victim identified; incident being investigated as homicide

Update 8/21/2023 | 9:08 a.m. 

Salem, Ore. — Investigators who responded to the Shilo Inn on 08/19/2023, were able to identify the victim in this case as 22-year-old Janet Ramos-Hernandez, from Gresham, Oregon. The case is being investigated as a homicide at this time, the investigation is ongoing, and additional updates will be provided when more information is available for release.

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Officers responding to CPR call, arrive to find one female deceased

Originally published 08/19/2023 | 4:08 p.m.

Salem, Ore. — On 08/19/23 at 6:35 am, officers responded to a call at 3304 Market Street NE. When officers arrived, they found a female in her 20’s deceased. Detectives from the Criminal Investigations Section were called to continue the investigation. The name of the victim is not being released at this time. The investigation is ongoing, and additional updates will be provided when more information is available for release.

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Detectives arrest jeweler who scammed customers - 09/18/23

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                  

DATE: September 18, 2023


Detectives arrest jeweler who scammed customers

Salem, Ore. — Detectives from the Salem Police Felony Crimes Unit arrested Douglas Wayne Gamble on September 15, 2023 for his involvement in the theft of gemstones and jewelry pieces from customers. 

Gamble, age 57, owner of the business Timeless Jeweler located at 1105 Edgewater ST NW in Salem, became the person of interest in a series of theft reports filed with the Salem Police Department starting in late 2022. Ten victims reported the loss of money and property when doing business with Gamble who contracted with customers to design, repair, or consign jewelry pieces. 

In some cases, customers reported lab-grown stones were sold to them as natural diamonds, or diamond jewelry settings were swapped with synthetic stones. Other customers reported never receiving purchased items or pieces left with the shop for repair, or other services. The store unexpectedly closed last October without notification to customers or the return of their property.

A conservative estimate of the total loss by Gamble’s customers is set at $250,000.

Gamble surrendered to detectives without incident on Friday and was arrested. He is currently lodged at the Polk County Jail on the following charges:

  • Aggravated theft, five counts
  • Theft in the first degree, six counts

Detectives ask anyone who has had similar incidents involving Gamble, through the store or online, to file a police report by calling the police non-emergency line at 503-588-6123 (option 1).

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Salem Police launch new video as part of recruitment efforts - 09/11/23

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                  

DATE: September 11, 2023


Salem Police launch new video as part of recruitment efforts

Salem, Ore. — As part of several efforts to bolster its officer ranks, the Salem Police Department released a new video today spotlighting the law enforcement career opportunities in Oregon’s capital city. 

Deputy Chief Brandon Ditto who oversees the division responsible for recruitment and hiring explained, “The video features four members of the department who tell the story of what drew them into the career of law enforcement.” The officers’ stories are underscored with imagery of their work and that of their fellow officers in a wide variety of ways, such as specialty assignments with the Bomb Squad, K-9 Unit, or drone program.

“Attracting and hiring a highly qualified workforce representative of our community is critical to providing quality policing services,” said Ditto adding, “We hope the video sparks an interest in those who are still exploring career options, or maybe looking for a career change.”

The video launch is part of several initiatives woven into the department’s strategic plan to enhance recruiting and hiring efforts. Another example is the department’s announcement of its official participation in the national initiative known as the 30x30 Pledge which was announced in March of this year.

The department’s Recruiting Team will be present at upcoming job fairs and events but are also available any time to connect with interested applicants. The department also has a website,, which focuses on assisting job applicants to easily learn about the hiring process, testing requirements, and more. The current listing for entry level officer closes October 30.

“We are the place to be for a law enforcement career,” concluded Ditto. “We are on the forefront of a new era in policing, so if you are interested, we invite you to be part of it.”

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Several streets blocked due to fatal train collision.
Several streets blocked due to fatal train collision.
Woman fatally struck by freight train (Photo) - 09/02/23

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                  

DATE:  September 2, 2023


Woman fatally struck by freight train

Salem, Ore. — Emergency responders were called to the area of 12th and Marion STS NE at approximately 9:40 a.m. on the report of a woman struck by a freight train.

Officers determined the woman stood on the tracks facing the oncoming train. The rail crew sounded the horn and attempted to stop but could not avoid the collision as the woman did not move. She was declared deceased at the scene.

The name of the decedent will not be released pending notification to the family.

Due to the significant length of train, about 74 rail cars, traffic impacts occurred along the Union Pacific track line from Court ST to Silverton RD NE for more than two hours.

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Large fire overnight determined to be arson, suspect in custody - 08/31/23

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                  

DATE: August 31, 2023


Large fire overnight determined to be arson, suspect in custody

Salem, Ore. — At approximately 2:30 a.m. today, emergency personnel responded to St. Joseph Catholic Church located at 721 Chemeketa ST NE on the report of a dumpster on fire on the property. 

Arriving Salem Fire Department personnel found the tall flames from the dumpster fire spread to the roof of the church building. Within an hour, Salem Fire crews requested assistance from regional fire agencies as the fire was upgraded to a four-alarm status. 

Firefighters safely evacuated a priest living in an adjacent building on the church property. No injuries were reported. Several road closures were in place for nearly ten hours as part of the fire suppression efforts and the investigation. 

The Salem Fire Department received assistance from the fire departments of the cities of Dallas and Keizer, as well as the Marion County, Mount Angel, and Polk County Fire Districts. Salem Fire Chief Mike Niblock shared, “Salem Fire firefighters and dispatchers, in conjunction with mutual aid resources, were integral in containing and suppressing this significant structure fire. I appreciate the effort by all the emergency responders on this incident.” 

Due to the suspicious circumstances of the fire, arson detectives from the Salem Police Felony Crimes Unit responded to the scene for the investigation, resulting in the arrest of Billy James Sweeten, age 48.

Sweeten, who is lodged at the Marion County Jail, faces first-degree arson charges.

“My thanks to the officers and arson investigators who worked throughout the night on this case,” said Salem Police Chief Trevor Womack. “The church building holds a historical significance in our city, and their diligence in quickly apprehending the suspect helped to bring justice to the community.”

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Altercation between teens leads to shooting, one in custody - 08/30/23

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                  

DATE:  August 30, 2023


Altercation between teens leads to shooting, one in custody


Update 8/30/2023 | 8:45 a.m.

Please note: The date of the incident was August 29, a Tuesday, not Thursday as previously published.

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Originally published 8/30/2023 | 8:15 a.m.

Salem, Ore. — At approximately 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 29, officers were called to the area of Silverton RD and Hawthorne AV NE on the report of a person injured in the roadway. 

Arriving officers found one male juvenile, age 16, with a gunshot wound. Officers also located a second gunshot wound victim, a 15-year-old boy, a few blocks away in the area of Lansing AV and Hammel ST NE.

Salem Police Violent Crimes Unit detectives responded to the scene and are leading this active investigation. Detectives have initially determined a physical altercation occurred between several teens at a bus stop near the intersection. During the fight, the 15-year-old juvenile brandished a handgun and shots were fired, injuring the 16-year-old.

Evidence was collected from the scene, and a K-9 search of the area resulted in the recovery of a firearm.

Both teenagers were transported to Salem Health. 

The 15-year-old juvenile was treated and released from the hospital. He was subsequently detained for his involvement in the incident. He was lodged at the Marion County Juvenile Department on the following charges:

  • Assault in the first degree
  • Unlawful use of a weapon
  • Unlawful possession of a weapon, firearm
  • Riot

The 16-year-old boy remains under medical care.

The names of the teenagers are not listed as the Salem Police Department does not identify minors involved in criminal investigations.

The investigation continues, and no other information is being released.

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