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Suspect in Skyliners Road car break-ins jailed after crash


(Update: Correcting vehicle entry counts – 7, not 8; driver, passenger had left crash scene)

A Deschutes County sheriff’s deputy investigating a string of car break-ins along Skyliners Road on Bend’s Westside Thursday morning was called to a nearby rollover crash — and when the stolen items were found inside, arrested the driver on theft and other charges, officials said.

Deputy Allie Lamb was called out around 9:40 a.m. to investigate several “car clouts” in the area of Skyliners Road, Sgt, Kevin Dizney said.

About two hours later, 911 dispatchers advised of a single-vehicle rollover on Skyliners Road near Forest Service Road 4606.

Lamb and another deputy responded to the nearby crash and found that the driver, Thomas James Watson, 23, of Bend, and a 26-year-old male passenger, also from Bend had left the scene, Sgt. Deke DeMars said.

The deputies found them in the area and Watson was found to possess stolen property from the car break-ins, as well as user quantities of heroin. The passenger was released from the scene.

Demars said the stolen items were mostly small items, like sunglasses and phone chargers.

Thomas was booked into the county jail on charges of second-degree theft, heroin possession and seven counts of unlawful entry into a motor vehicle. He was held without bail on a probation violation, jail records showed.

It’s not known if there are other victims of thefts from cars in the area, DeMars said. The sheriff’s office asked any other victims of car break-ins contact dispatchers at 541-693-6911.

Court records showed Watson is scheduled for arraignment next Wednesday on one count of giving false information to a police officer — Dizney — on Dec. 28, a Class A misdemeanor.

Last October, he pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a restricted weapon (metal knuckles), also a Class A misdemeanor, and was given a two-day jail sentence.

Last summer, Watson pleaded guilty to second-degree theft involving a cellphone and received a 20-day jail sentence.

In a separate case, he pleaded guilty to heroin possession, a Class B felony, and received a 10-day jail term and 18 months probation. The sentence was later extended to 30 days in jail for violating terms of his probation.

Last May, Watson pleaded guilty to second-degree theft of a bicycle, a Class A misdemeanor, and was sentenced to five days in jail.

Watson pleaded guilty in 2016 to heroin possession, a Class B felony, and no contest to ID theft, a Class C felony, and in each case was sentenced to 10 days in jail and 18 months probation.

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