Police bust burglary ring connected to meth use

Authorities recover property allegedly exchanged for drugs

Cindy Powers / The Bulletin /

Published Mar 8, 2006 at 04:00AM

REDMOND - Seated at a table covered with hundreds of collectable coins, authorities said Tuesday that they've arrested nine people and recovered nearly $26,000 in stolen loot after a three-month sting organized by a team of street crimes investigators.

Those arrested allegedly took part in a theft ring, stealing property they either sold for cash to buy methamphetamine or traded for the drug, according to Detective Sgt. Michael Espinoza of the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office.

The stolen property included a big-screen television, stereo equipment, collectable coins and power tools taken from construction sites in Redmond. Most of the property was recovered.

The investigation started in mid-December, Espinoza said, after Redmond police arrested an unidentified person who offered up information about a string of burglaries in the area.

Deschutes County sheriff's deputies and Redmond police served search warrants at three suspects' Redmond residences in December. They found evidence linking Raymond Allen Peterson, 35, and William Clement Averill, 38, to several of the burglaries.

Information implicating 41-year-old Alan Thomas Millar in multiple identity theft cases was also found, Espinoza said.

Two more search warrants were served at homes in Redmond in February and March, Espinoza said. Officers found meth and stolen coins at both houses and arrested Richard Leona Bettelyoun, 46, Kimberly Kay Bettelyoun, 42, Troy Allen Purdy, 49, and 39-year-old Kristen Powell Ross.

Two others were taken into custody on suspicion of possessing meth and frequenting a place where drugs are used.

Formal charges have been filed against three of the group, and Espinoza said he expects charges to be filed against the rest.

A coin dealer from California in the process of moving to Redmond was hit the hardest, according to Capt. Tim Edwards of the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office. The man was storing part of his collection in his garage, in a house that was still under construction.

Many of the valuable coins were either sold online or traded for drugs, Espinoza said. About half of the collection, which had a total value of about $26,000, was recovered at a house in Bend.

”There was definitely a meth nexus,” Espinoza said Tuesday. ”There are still coins that are being traded for meth.”

The investigation was conducted by a team of four patrol officers - two from the sheriff's office and two from the Redmond Police Department - pulled from their regular beats last year to fight street crimes in Deschutes County.

”We've got the (Central Oregon Drug Enforcement) team and they are dealing with the major organizations, but what we saw was that the lower-level users and small-time dealers were a problem because that is what is impacting your quality of life,” said Deschutes County Sheriff Les Stiles. ”They are the ones breaking into your car to sustain their habit.”

Stiles said he and Redmond Police Chief Lane Roberts decided to create the street crimes team in March of last year and the results have exceeded their expectations.

In the past year, the team has arrested 162 people for drug offenses, burglaries, stealing cars, identity theft and forgery, according to Stiles. They've also recovered more than $100,000 in stolen property, including a dozen guns and six cars.

Dealing with lower-level offenses to stave off more serious crimes, known as the broken window theory, has become generally accepted by the rank and file in the two departments, Stiles said.

”Basically it means putting the resources on the street level where the problems are,” he said.

And law enforcement are hoping the community will come forward with any information that can help them accomplish that goal.

”In certain cases they need to take a stand,” Espinoza said. ”Even if it's a small amount of property (taken) they need to report that, because that could launch us into a larger investigation like this one.”

Arrested

  • Alan Thomas Millar of Redmond, 41

    Charges: Aggravated theft, two counts theft

  • William Clement Averill of Redmond, 38

    Charges: Three counts each of burglary and theft, two counts of criminal mischief, one count aggravated theft

  • Allen Raymond Peterson of Redmond, 35

    Charges: Burglary, aggravated theft

  • Richard Leona Bettelyoun of Redmond, 46

    Arrested on suspicion of theft and drug possession

  • Kimberly Kay Bettelyoun of Redmond, 42

    Arrested on suspicion of theft and drug possession

  • Kristin Powell Ross of Prineville, 39

    Arrested on suspicion of drug possession

  • Troy Allen Purdy of Redmond, 49

    Arrested on suspicion of theft, drug possession and frequenting a place where drugs are used or sold

  • Pamela Dawn Reed of Redmond, 39

    Arrested on suspicion of frequenting a place where drugs are used or sold

  • Richard Nolan Reed of Redmond, 49

    Arrested on suspicion of frequenting a place where drugs are used or sold

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