More criminals are armed

By on Tuesday, May 10th, 2022 in Columbia Basin News More Top Stories

PENDLETON – Police Chief Chuck Byram says there are two trends in crimes that have his attention. One is the fact that more wrongdoers are armed. The other is a big increase in unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

“The number of weapons that are out there right now is not good,” he said. “It seems like the criminal element is emboldened now more than ever.”

Byram said that legislation weakening law enforcement from being proactive as well as Measure 110, which allows personal use possession of narcotics, are sending the message to those who break the law that little can be done to stop them.

As for the motor vehicle thefts, Byram said they range from out-and-out stealing to people who loan their vehicles only to have them go unreturned.

“Since Feb. 5, we have had reported 21 stolen motor vehicles,” he said on May 3. “We have active investigations and cases going both with the Oregon State Police and Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office who have provided us leads.”