Two suspects are facing several criminal charges after Lewis County Sheriff’s Office deputies tracked their footprints in the snow and discovered the attempted theft of $185,800 in possessions from two businesses on Christmas.
Donald Edward Emery III, 48, of St. Helens, Oregon, and Derrick Lee Lyons, 31, of Warren, Oregon, appeared in Lewis County Superior Court Tuesday afternoon for preliminary appearances related to a range of charges that include second-degree burglary, first-degree attempted theft, attempted theft of a motor vehicle and criminal trespassing, among other charges.
At about 6:15 a.m. Monday, deputies were patrolling in the 200 block of Hamilton Road North, south of Chehalis, when they saw a vehicle parked on the shoulder near businesses. A female occupant of the vehicle initially told the deputies the vehicle was having issues and that her boyfriend had gone for help.
The deputies searched the area and found two sets of footprints in the snow. Emery was located on Hamilton Road North while walking on the shoulder wearing only socks. The deputies tracked the footprints and found a pair of discarded shoes and the keys to a vehicle belonging to one of the businesses in the area, according to the sheriff’s office.
Deputies then tracked Lyons to one of the businesses. He allegedly ran when deputies approached, but he was apprehended after a short foot chase.
Subsequent investigation found that the two men had cut the lock to one of the businesses. At the other, there was a vehicle loaded with equipment from the business.
“The suspects were interrupted upon deputies’ arrival,” said Dusty Breen, of the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.
Information from the Lewis County Prosecutor’s Office states that Emery admitted to being involved in the burglary, including cutting a lock on another business they chose to abandon because it was too far from the road. Emery is known to use aliases such as Donald Raspberry, Terry Raspberry and Joseph Schwab and has an extensive criminal history, including 14 felony convictions.
Lyons also allegedly admitted his involvement, including entering vehicles on the property. He has prior convictions for robbery, burglary and theft, as well as an active warrant out of King County.
Among the recovered items were a large toolbox filled with tools valued at $100,000, a smaller tool box and contents valued at $30,000, a Chevrolet Silverado work truck valued at $50,000 and other miscellaneous items for a combined value of $185,800.
On Tuesday, Lyons and Emery, who are being charged as co-defendants, were each ordered by the court to be held in custody on $250,000 bail. Their next court appearance is scheduled for next Thursday.