A Clark County sheriff's deputy investigating a man sleeping in a moving truck helped solve several Clackamas County burglary investigations when he discovered the truck was packed with stolen goods.
Deputy Eric O'Dell was patrolling Hazel Dell on Wednesday, when he noticed a U-Haul truck parked in the 7900 block of Northeast Highway 99. The engine was still running and a man was asleep behind the wheel.
O'Dell woke up the man, who allegedly gave a false name. While O'Dell checked to see if the U-Haul was reported stolen, the man ran away. Police were unable to find him.
Investigators matched items in the U-Haul to those reportedly stolen during burglaries in Tualatin, Rhododendron, Canby and Sandy, Ore. During an April 29 burglary spree in Tualatin's Martinazzi Square Shopping Center, suspects entered one store and broke through walls to burglarize neighboring businesses. An estimated $44,000 of prescription medications were stolen.
The stolen U-Haul was stuffed with trash cans of medication, furniture, tools, DVD players, stereos, silverware, toys, plates, televisions, rugs, sleds, military gear -- even an urn containing the ashes of a victim's mother.
Jason Edward Stidham, 35, was arrested by Portland police on Tuesday and booked into the Inverness Jail on accusations of giving false information to a police officer, possessing a controlled substance, possessing meth and unlawful use of a motor vehicle. His bail is $220,000.
"Clark County just helped me clear eight to ten local burglaries on our caseload," said Clackamas Detective Paul Wade. "We appreciate the help, and so do the victims."
The U-Haul was stolen from Portland, with stolen Arizona license plates attached, according to the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office.
If you have any additional information on his alleged burglaries and vehicle thefts, leave an anonymous tip with the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office tip line by calling 503-723-4949 or submitting info online at http://www.clackamas.us/sheriff/forms/tip.html.