Detective finds mail, meth inside suspect’s vehicle


News staff writer

March 4, 2006

Hood River County Sheriff Detective Bob Davidson arrested a White Salmon man on Wednesday for possibly ransacking area mailboxes.

Dozens of pieces of mail – along with a small amount of methamphetamine and a burglary kit – were allegedly found inside the suspect vehicle.

Taken into custody about 4 p.m. on March 1 was Robert Earl Ross, 22. Davidson said he had been the subject of an ongoing investigation into forgery and stolen checks.

“He was known to us already and we suspected that he could be involved in the recent crimes,” said Davidson.

Ross has been charged with six counts of second-degree forgery, and numerous counts of mail theft and identity theft – as well as drug possession. His wife, Tamara, 24, who was in the vehicle at the time of his arrest, was also cited for meth possession and released.

Last weekend, numerous pieces of mail were removed from boxes on the west side of Hood River. Davidson said some of the correspondence recovered from the Ross’ car matched those addresses.

“We are going to make copies of this mail to keep for evidence and then we’ll try to get everything back to the rightful owners,” he said.

Davidson said law enforcement officers from the City of Hood River, and the Bingen/White Salmon Police Department have assisted in the investigation. He said Ross is suspected of involvement in 41 incidents of mail theft that have occurred in recent weeks. He asks anyone with information about the Ross’ activities to call either him or Detective Gerry Tiffany at 386-2098.

The Sheriff’s Office urges residents to take the following precautions to secure their mail:

* Make arrangements to have someone pick up mail if you are going to be unavailable during daytime delivery times.

* Never leave mail in a box overnight.

* Deposit outgoing mail in the secured blue U.S. Postal Service box. A raised red flag on your private container is an open invitation to thieves.

* Rent a mailbox inside a postal service center that is located in a secured facility.

* Invite your neighbors to join together and get a multi-unit locking mailbox.

* Purchase your own locking mail box that meets post office standards.

* Report any suspicious people or activity that you see near a mail box.

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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 to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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