BEND, OR -- Over the last few months, Bend Police have arrested 24 people for crimes committed around the Bottle Drop recycling center at Second and Hawthorne.
Lt. Clint Burleigh says the crackdown started after Bend PD began receiving a growing number of calls related to problems in the area, "About four months ago - the beginning of this year, if you went by there, there were a lot of abandoned vehicles around, there was a lot of activity. We were getting complaints of people being aggressive, or fights. Our informational Policing team understood the problem, knew it was a community safety issue, and started devising a plan." The plan was to beef up patrols, remove seven abandoned vehicles and return the nearly 100 shopping carts taken from local businesses. He says, "I think the majority of the arrests were for drug possession. There were arrests for offensive littering, there's garbage there all the time, and then we had a lot of abandoned vehicles; but mostly it was drug charges."
Burleigh says one vehicle in particular, a silver Jeep Liberty, led to four arrests, "We know that that Jeep was being used to use controlled substances; we know that Jeep was being used to sell controlled substances out of. And, making that case was a big deal to making sure to provide the best or the safest environment for the people who want to use that area." Thomas Dillard was charged with meth possession, distribution, and frequenting a place where drugs are used, kept or sold. Cassie Davis was charged with possession and frequenting. David Cook and Guadalupe Hernandez were arrested on warrants and also charged with frequenting; Hernandez was also charged with giving the police false information. Lt. Burleigh says the other arrests were for drug possession, offensive littering, and theft.
He tells KBND News, "There's more to come. We understand that Bend's a big city, and we understand that there's a lot of neighborhoods and neighbors that have concerned situations; and this is not about finding a drug house and just doing that. This is about finding issues in neighborhoods and trying to find solutions, and doesn't always mean there's going to be an arrest. The reality is, we want to work toward creating safe environments throughout Bend."