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Florida man, Bend woman charged in mail, ID thefts

Mail found scattered over five miles of Ward Road

BEND, Ore. - Mail scattered along miles of roads east of Bend and in northeast Bend and a credit card theft from a car led to the arrest of a Florida man and Bend woman late Thursday, accused of more than 25 cases of mail theft and several thefts from vehicles, Deschutes County sheriff's deputies said Friday.

Deputies received a report Thursday morning of several pieces of mail scattered along the road in the area of Ward Road and Ropp Lane east of Bend, sheriff's Sgt. William Bailey said. The responding deputy found mail scattered over a five-mile section of Ward Road.

A second, similar call was received, reporting several pieces of mail scattered on the road in the area of Overtree Road and Ann Margaret Drive in northeast Bend, Bailey said.

In addition, a third caller reported a credit card was taken from a vehicle in the 63000 block of Old Deschutes Road, a short distance from the mail found on Overtree Road. Bailey said the caller reported a a credit card taken from the car had been used earlier in the morning at the Bend Walmart.

Sheriff's Office Street Crimes Unit deputies and detectives worked through Thursday, collecting evidence and reviewing video surveillance, and were able to identify the suspects in the vehicle theft.

Late Thursday, Christopher Blake Paulson, 22, of Miramar Beach, Florida, and Serenity Leeann Johnson, 18, of Bend, were arrested in connection with what's believed to more than 25 incidents of mail theft and several thefts from vehicles, Bailey said.

Paulson and Johnson were booked into the county jail, Paulson on six counts of mail theft and one count each of identity theft, fraudulent use of a credit card and second-degree theft, Bailey said. Johnson's initial charges were two counts of ID theft and one count of mail theft.

Bailey said the investigation is still active and at least one more arrest is expected. More charges also may be filed against Paulson and Johnson, he added.

Paulson was released from jail on his own recognizance, pending an initial court appearance next Thursday, while Johnson was released to a responsible third party pending a Jan. 11 court date.

Court records show Johnson pleaded guilty in March to a second-degree theft charge and received a sentence of one year probation.


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