The Columbia Press Newspaper in Warrenton, Oregon

Warrenton's Community Newspaper since 1978


September 19, 2014 edition

City fights rising crime and drug use

Christopher Bernhardt and Christopher Monroe were arrested in a drug house raid in Warrenton

Christopher Bernhardt and Christopher Monroe were arrested in a recent drug house raid in Warrenton

By Gary Nevan

Property crimes rising dramatically, numerous vehicle break-ins reported in the Columbia Press police log every week, drug needles found at Warrenton City Park and other locations near the grade school, an FBI SWAT team raiding a drug house only one block from City Hall…

So what is going on in Warrenton? Why is crime increasing so much every year?

In one word: drugs.

"There is an overall indication that there is a big rise in crime happening in Warrenton," said Police Chief Mathew Workman. "It's 100 percent due to drugs. Heroin and Meth use in the community is directly related to property crimes happening."

Those two drugs in particular need to be renewed by the user very quickly, Workman said. The high doesn't last long and the addict has to go out searching for money or goods to buy more drugs.

"The addict will do anything to anyone to get more drugs," he said. "Both Heroin and Meth are very addictive and readily available. And they cost substantially less compared to pain prescription pills."

As an example, one Oxycontin pain pill can fetch $20 on the black market. Heroin costs approximately $116 per gram which is a substantial number of hits, Workman said.

"The main crimes we are seeing in Warrenton are non-physical crimes of opportunity," Workman said. "We don't see strong-arm robberies. Most are low-level property crimes. We see vehicle and home break-ins where you have a person needing to find money to buy drugs. Once they steal something, usually small items that they either sell or trade for drugs. They will do anything to get more drugs, even prostitution trading which does happen here. Those addiction demons are a powerful thing."

Please read this week's issue of The Columbia Press for the full story.




                   

About The Columbia Press

Located at the mouth of the Columbia River, The Columbia Press is the independently-owned weekly newspaper for the city of Warrenton, Oregon. Since 1978, The Columbia Press has covered local community news and events throughout Warrenton, Hammond and Clatsop County. The Columbia Press is the official legal public notice publication for the City of Warrenton and the Warrenton-Hammond School District.

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The Columbia Press

Gary Nevan, Publisher/Editor

E-mail: editor@thecolumbiapress.com

160B N.E. 5th Street P.O. Box 130 Warrenton, OR 97146

Phone: 503-861-3331

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