Transient Faces Multiple Burglary, Theft Charges

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A local transient with more than a dozen arrests on his record was charged in connection with a string of burglaries following investigations by the Hermiston Police Department.

Omar Garcia Escobedo, 20, was arrested late Wednesday afternoon for violating a restraining order on the 1000 block of W. Orchard Avenue. He was also arrested for two outstanding warrents – one out of the Hermiston Municipal Court for failure to appear on a second-degree criminal trespass charge and minor in possession, and the other out of the Hermiston Circuit Court on a contempt of court charge.

He was taken into custody at the police department where officers recognized some jewelry on Escobedo that had allegedly been stolen in a residential burglary on April 18 on the 600 block of E. Newport Avenue. Hermiston Police Chief Jason Edmiston said an interview with Escobedo led to his arrest on charges of first-degree burglary, first-degree theft and second-degree criminal mischief.

Further interviews with Escobedo resulted in charges related to two additional burglaries. The first involved an April 27 burglary on the 400 block of E. Newport Avenue for which he was charged with first-degree burglary, second-degree criminal mischief and third-degree theft. The other burglary took place on April 29 on the 600 block of E. Ridgeway Avenue. Escobedo was charged with first-degree burglary, first-degree theft and second-degree criminal mischief in connection with that burglary.

“Our patrol officers did an incredible job piecing this one-man crime wave together,” said Edmiston. “As this makes the 16th arrest of Escobedo to include 55 charges, it is even clearer to me a single source of adjudication is what is needed for those offenders we deal with and our citizens are continually victimized by.”

Edmiston has advocated that the city of Hermiston turn over all its misdemeanor cases to the Umatilla County District Attorney’s Office for prosecution.

In April, Edmiston made his case for having the DA prosecute all Hermiston misdemeanors in circuit court. Often times, said Edmiston, a person is charged with multiple crimes – some may be misdemeanors while others may be felonies. Since the DA’s office primarily handles felony cases, it may not be aware of the offender’s complete criminal activity, which could impact how the office handles a particular individual. Turning over all misdemeanor cases to the DA’s office, said Edmiston, gives the office a more complete picture of the offender and would allow the DA to prosecute the individual more effectively.

“Mr. Escobedo is clearly manipulating both the municipal court and circuit court as he had warrants for his arrest from both,” Edmiston said on Thursday.