Baker City Police believe a 27-year-old man who they say lives in a 2003 Mercedes sedan is responsible for stealing multiple items from outside Baker City homes and from unlocked vehicles.
Police arrested Brendon Michael Smith on Monday, Nov. 8 at about 11:30 a.m. on East Campbell Street, where he was parked in his Mercedes.
The car has Washington license plates, BHW2889.
Smith, who is in the Baker County Jail, was arraigned in Baker County Circuit Court on Tuesday, Nov. 9. He is charged with second-degree burglary, second-degree theft, third-degree theft and three counts of unlawful entry into a motor vehicle.
Judge Matt Shirtcliff set Smith’s bail at $40,000. Smith is scheduled to enter a plea on Nov. 23 at 1:45 p.m.
On April 18, 2017, Smith, then 22, pleaded guilty in Baker County Circuit Court to first-degree burglary, third-degree theft and possession of methamphetamine. Smith, who admitted entering a home and stealing items, was sentenced to 45 days in jail and three years of probation.
Smith pleaded guilty to second-degree criminal trespassing on Nov. 9, 2016, also in Baker County Circuit Court. He was sentenced to one year of probation.
On April 29, 2016, Smith pleaded guilty to harassment.
During Smith’s arrest on Nov. 8, police found multiple items that had been taken from outside homes and from unlocked vehicles, according to a press release from Baker City Police.
Police Chief Ty Duby said the police department had received multiple calls about Smith in October, from residents who said they had seen the black Mercedes parked in their neighborhoods.
On Oct. 27 a resident on Indiana Avenue called police and reported that a man was sitting in a black Mercedes outside the caller’s home.
Police found Smith in the car with multiple items that had been stolen, according to the press release. Smith had other items that police believe were stolen, but they couldn’t find the theft victims.
Smith was cited and released on Oct. 27, Duby said.
On Nov. 5, owners of Hills Auto Parts and Repair at 800 Campbell St. reported that several vehicles, some belonging to customers and some to the business, had been entered, with items taken from inside. The value of the items is approximately $1,950, according to an affidavit filed as part of the case by Baker City Police officer Johnathan Parsons.
Smith was identified as a suspect through video surveillance at the business, Duby said.
On Monday morning, Nov. 8, police again talked to Smith after he parked in a lot on East Campbell Street, Duby said. They found more stolen items. Police arrested Smith and this time he was lodged in the Baker County Jail.
Duby said Smith told police that he drives around the city, taking packages from porches and other items outside homes.
Duby said Smith also said that he goes through parking lots at local motels, looking for unlocked vehicles and stealing items from those vehicles.
Duby said Smith has “addiction issues.” He said he believes Smith owns the Mercedes, although he doesn’t have insurance on the car.
Baker City Police are following up on other theft reports, and additional charges against Smith could be filed.
In his affidavit, Parsons wrote that among the items that Smith had in his car when he was arrested Nov. 8 is a Madrid brand skateboard, with an approximate value of $500, that matches the description of a skateboard reported stolen recently from the basement of a Baker City home.
Parsons wrote that Smith told him someone had given the board to him.
Parsons also wrote that Smith had in his car a black zippered document folder, which he opened for police.
The folder contained Social Security cards and tax forms for a local woman who reported to police that someone had taken a folder with tax documents from her car on Nov. 7.
Parsons also wrote in the affidavit that he had talked with a Baker City resident whose son’s bicycle, valued at about $600, had been stolen from an enclosed carport on Oct. 30.
The bicycle was returned to the owner a couple days later, according to Parsons’ affidavit, after an anonymous caller told the bike owner’s parents that Smith had the bicycle but that it would be returned.
According to Parsons’ affidavit, Smith admitted during his Nov. 8 arrest that he had stolen the bicycle.