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Detective finds mail, meth inside suspect’s vehicle

By RAELYNN RICARTE

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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