Police track down suspects in two car thefts

Two alleged car thieves have been arrested in Hood River County within the past week while attempting to flee from police.

Delbert Calkins, 23, of Portland, was arraigned for stealing a vehicle in Circuit Court on Monday, just two days before Gabriel Baker, 27, of Myrtle Creek was arrested in a separate incident.

Hood River District Attorney John Sewell said both suspects were driving vehicles that had been reported as stolen and both have prior criminal histories.

On Wednesday, search dogs and a helicopter scouted for Baker after he ran into a wooded area near Frankton Road. Law enforcement officials took up the chase after they learned that the 1997 White Ford Mustang he had parked on Country Club Road had been stolen. They began investigating his actions after being alerted by a Wal-Mart employee that Baker had returned to the store after reportedly trying to steal about $2,000 of electronic equipment two days earlier. Although Baker had left the business when they arrived, police located the vehicle and then launched a full-scale search. The suspect was taken into custody several hours later and also charged for the attempt to elude.

According to reports, about $800 of CDs and electronic goods from Wal-Mart were found during a search of the car. Baker reportedly claimed that he had borrowed the vehicle from an unnamed friend and did not know what had been stored inside. In addition to car theft and elude, Calkins has been charged with criminal mischief and purchasing an illegal amount of pseudoephedrine, a cold medicine that is an ingredient in methamphetamine manufacture.

A Safeway employee called for police help after Calkins allegedly ran out of the store with more than $50 in grocery items on Sunday. The stolen merchandise ranged from beef steaks to toothpaste, film and deodorant. Once police located the suspect’s 1993 Plymouth Voyager, Calkins allegedly sped east along city roadways and crashed into a parked car at the intersection of Second and Oak streets. He then reportedly jumped out of the vehicle he had been driving and ran toward the Second Street overpass before being taken into custody. During the chase he also reportedly rammed into a police patrol car, causing at least $750 of damage. At the time of his arrest Calkins allegedly told officers that he had “blacked out” and couldn’t remember any events from that afternoon.

The two suspects are now being held in NORCOR, Baker on $5,000 cash bail and Calkins on $10,000.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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