2 arrested in 1,100-mile crime spree

Written by Jane Stebbins, Pilot staff writer April 27, 2013 12:26 am

Curry and Coos county sheriff’s officers apprehended two suspects in a crime spree that started in San Luis Obispo, Calif., and ended more than 1,100 miles later in Bandon. A third suspect has not been identified or located.

Arrested was driver Richard Schlitz, 20, who had two warrants from Coos and Douglas counties; and Michael Reid, 32, of Santa Maria, Calif. Schlitz was taken to the Coos County Jail; Reed was transported to the Curry County facility. 

According to Curry County Sheriff John Bishop, the three allegedly stole the car in California and made their journey up the coast, burglarizing various businesses along the way.

The Curry County Sheriff’s Office received two 911 calls from Langlois residents at 5:14 a.m. Thursday reporting a burglary in progress at the Langlois Market. Two different callers reported seeing at least three men breaking into the market. They said a silver, later-model, four-door car fled north along Highway 101; Coos Bay officials were then alerted to the incident and to be on the lookout for the car.

A witness to the burglary of the Langlois Market reported that while on her way to work in Bandon, she saw the stolen car parked along the road at Beach Junction south of that town. A Bandon Police officer arrived to find the vehicle gone – but the cash register from the Langlois Market abandoned in the area.

Shortly thereafter, the Coos Bay Police Department began chasing the vehicle until it crashed near the Southwestern Oregon Community College campus in Coos Bay; all three suspects fled on foot but were apprehended a few miles from the wreck.

Later reports indicated the trio might have been involved in other burglaries in California, including at the Shell gas station near the Lucky 7 Casino in Smith River and an attempt to break into the 76 gas station in Gold Beach.

Curry County Dep. Rod McAllister retrieved video evidence of the Langlois burglary.

The Curry County Sheriff’s office is continuing the investigation and information will be filed to the county DA for prosecution.