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Jul-18-2008 15:52printcomments

Woodburn Drag Strip Grandstand Theft is a Symptom of Meth Abuse and Ignorance

A scrap metal company in Salem worked with police to bust two men, but the meth problems generally behind this type of crime, are poorly addressed in this country.

Stolen sections of aluminum bridge
Photo courtesy: Marion County Sheriff

(SALEM, Ore.) - Oregonians keep getting clobbered over the head with the stories of the meth freaks, but we must have a shorter attention span that I realized. In spite of all the methamphetamine horror stories, police, federal officials in particular, are spending your tax dollars like chumps, arresting people for marijuana while the crank fiends dismantle the very place we live in.

Meth addicts are human beings operating on a distinctly different level from all others. For the public, their own children and families, and in this case, an Oregon drag strip, they represent a hazard. Meth users are way more dangerous to society than other drug violators. The problem is not getting any better; we have our priorities extremely mixed up.

Meth is a chemical, pure and simple. A little of this, a little of that, throw in some sulphur, some ingredients that you wouldn't give to your worse enemy like draino, and you are on your way. Meth used to be a substance that was manufactured legally, but your government shoved it underground by banning ingredients. It took meth from a somewhat legitimate diet pill, to a cruel substance manufactured in bathtubs and Honda Accords rolling down the street that people snort and fire into their arms with needles.

The Good News

But today there is a good story in the mix, sort of. At least one that shows that some of our law enforcement officials are actually busting people for methamphetamine-related problems and not spending all their time trying to lock people for up harmless and victimless crimes.

Thursday afternoon, 53-year old Danny Packer of Hubbard, and 54-year old Larry C. Mathews of Woodburn, were arrested and booked into the Marion County Jail on 50 Counts of Theft 1, and 50 counts of Criminal Mischief 2. There are no pending meth charges against this pair, but their crimes are synonymous with the acts of those who are fully addicted.

Regarding metal thieves and meth addicts, a police officer once said it this way; "Who else would go to this much effort"?

Sgt. Kristin Knutson with the Marion County Sheriff's Office, says the arrest stems from a report and investigation into the theft of over 300 Aluminum bleacher seats, 20 feet in length, from the Woodburn Dragstrip, in Woodburn, Oregon.

"The 300 metal bleacher seats are valued at $25,000-$30,000." Knutson said.

"Soon after the Theft was reported, Cherry City Metals notified Law Enforcement that the two were attempting to sell approximately 50-60 Aluminum Bleacher seats, which had been cut into pieces."

Once the suspects learned that the police had been called, the two departed Cherry City Metals according to Knutson, leaving behind the stolen bleachers.

"Sr. Deputy Brenda Lumley spotted and stopped the suspect vehicle on Hazelgreen Road NE and Nusom Road NE at approximately 3:30 PM. Senior Deputy David Wagner arrested Packer and Mathews for the above charges. The investigation is still continuing as there is still a significant amount of Metal outstanding."

As bad as it is, this is also a good story because it addresses the obvious problem that has allowed meth freak metal thievery to grow into a problem that literally endangers our lives. That problem is the buyers of the metal. We have heard about window frames in country houses being stolen, sprinkler heads, all kinds of construction equipment, and even a BLM aluminum bridge being stolen and sold for scrap.

Railroads are in danger, other bridges could fall victim to metal thieves, and there is what I consider to be the laughingstock of all meth metal thief stories: in Arizona where Republicans and anti-immigration zealots have "the Great Wall of America" under construction to allegedly cut down in "illegal immigration" traffic from Mexico, off-duty deputies are being called in to babysit the wall; both the installed and the uninstalled fence sections. Why? Because faster than you can spell Border Patrol, those fence sections are being carried away by meth thieves and sold for scrap!

I guess that is one testimony to the notion of repeating the actions of the Soviet Union and China. The only thing the wall really does is drive families into much more deadly places to cross, which they still do. Instead of problems from these folks seeking a better life, we are dealing with the actions of AMERICANS who live in a thrashed economy and among police who list meth and pot on the same page as a "controlled substance." It is all worth both laughing and crying over. Maybe some day we will pull our heads out of the shadows and try to live like people who have even half a clue.

By the way, anyone with information about the Woodburn Drag Strip bleachers is asked to contact Sr. Deputy Wagner at the Marion County Sheriffs Office, 503-500-5091.




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Arctic Ninja April 13, 2016 12:33 pm (Pacific time)

Okay "smart" people, being a user I am not going to sugarcoat this at all, because I might try smoking that ;) personally I think statistics are bs, second how does pot come into this category, you ever suck a penis for some pot?!?! Knucklehead!? Weed was on this earth before anyone had a stupid opinion about whats right and wrong, and in my belief it is Gods aspirin to mankind, not just cause you can smoke it and it is medicinal to ones who are prescribed, just like any normal med, but you can make clothing,flour from the roots etc. call me crazy, but meth is a new aged witches brew, a demon that needs your body/and soul to do its bidding, which explains all of the evil drawings, the indirect insults from supposed friends you care for, that tell you that they would never do such a thing as steal your shit and then help you look for it, or put you down/want you deceased, and dont think its paranoia when you buy some bad batch from your boy and you either tits up or just burnt for life now, a very good friend told me, that a real true friend brings food to your house, not a sick demonic evil indirect thing as tweek they are not your friends,if they willingly keep hurting you and take pleasure from doing so because that person is no longer who that person was five minutes/1 hit ago.


Clean and Law abiding Mexican Family February 18, 2009 10:01 am (Pacific time)

people who asume that simply because there is a problem with meth addict's that there illegal's ..1st the person doing this report used a story of Larry and Danny as a example Larry and Danny are both WHITE..so how hipacritical is that. the hate between both cultures only is getting worse.The white people due the crime the Mexican's pay the price...due your research and you will see the huge pile of Meth crimes here in Marion county are from white/american men and woman very small amount are hispanic's and even smaller amount of those are Illegal..my husband is from Mexico we have been married 16yrs and I have neen around hispanic's most of my life my step/dad is also hispanic , So please stop hating the hispanic's cuse all they want to do is work legal job's .Love one another as God Loves You..Stop discriminating GOD say's were all created equal please remember that.

Tim King: I need no convincing when it comes to this, I totally agree. People quickly associate negative behavior with racism and it is ridiculous. In fact I don't recall covering any high profile meth cases where the suspects were Hispanic; always or almost always white. When I was with the Portland, Oregon ABC station KATU, I covered the story of the man being run down by the meth addict fresh out of prison and up for three or four days. The guy who saved the life of the senior citizen being run into repeatedly by the guy on meth, was a Hispanic family man with a big Chevy low rider in his driveway. That guy saved the man's life and the meth user was white.


StunnedinOregon January 17, 2009 10:28 pm (Pacific time)

I am stunned at the blantantly ignorant and completely biased information I have seen here. I am not a reporter but even common sense tells me that anyone trying to prove a point while claiming that there is "scientific evidence", needs to provide valid references to that evidence...where they've seen it written, who wrote it, were they crackpot viglantes spreading hate based on their own perspective, or had they actually set up scientific experiments and approached the issue from an impartial point of view before embarking on finding the answers??? Can they debate a topic in an intelligent way without resorting to name calling or insulting the alternate viewpoint? And have they tried considering the alternate point of view before jumping back to defend and rebute it? A hothead screaming denials only looks like someone who is so emotionally wrapped up in the issue that they are incapable of approaching it any other way.
These are all things I look for in terms of how seriously I will take an article and I must say that I saw none of it here. I'm often amazed that people are allowed to write articles and distribute them,articles making so many false and ignorant claims that the authors may as well be the crazy guy on the street corner downtown, holding up the signs that say "The End Has Come!!!" Of course, the First Amendment guarantees us this right of expressing ourselves, but those who claim that their opinions are fact and do so in a public venue should be held to some degree of accountability as to where they discovered it to be a fact...especially when they are demonizing one small part of a gigantic problem. If the person who wrote this article wants to carry on some personal vendetta against the meth users because it has hurt him at some point in his life, then let him do it in a different forum and quit making false claims about scientific evidence. And please avoid the pointless arguments that "yours is better than their's." That kind of banter belongs in elementary schools and makes people look like thought-less and immature finger pointers.
Do you really want the problems of drug addiction to go away? Then why don't you ask the government and law enforcement why the real scientific research that's been done on solutions for meth withdrawal and recovery maitanence is continuously suppressed in this country alone! It's an age old problem that exists wherever there are human beings...as long as there are humans who don't want to process their emotions, there will be the need for substances that temporarily relieve emotional pain. But the rest of the world is working on finding solutions to addiction that might succeed. The U.S. is the only place that insists on obtaining revenue from the "war on drugs" and places politics into the middle of what should be a health issue. The starting point should be in the way we behave as a community and how much emotional stability we can have and provide to others. There also needs to be more found on what sorts of genes and environments predisposes someone to addiction and what can be done about helping support them before they do start to use drugs.
This article is about hate and accusations and bitterness and blaim... what have those things ever solved? Quit lying to yourself, Tim,and finger pointing and figure out what you can do to help.

Tim King: You can advocate for meth users if you want to, but I think it is a joke. You strike me possibly as a meth user who still hasn't figured out what it is that you are doing. Anybody using this drug is heading for big trouble and they need to rethink their position in life and their habits. Before you accuse me of too much, just think about what I am saying; this is a dead end street. I can't count the number of people I have seen be sucked down the drain by meth and if they stop, there is hope.


lee July 27, 2008 12:12 pm (Pacific time)

i look at the faces of meth as zombies...


Whatthe July 25, 2008 7:48 pm (Pacific time)

"Pot is natural, it is not overly intoxicating, it is medicinal. It does not cause any of the problems you suggest, you are dreaming." Ok, next time dont load up the bong before replying. While I know plenty of hippies and happy people, to try and deny that mj has negative effects is not only stupid, but shows YOU as being niave and a little stupid. Personally, I think it should be legalized because it is not anymore detrimental than alchohol, but idiots espousing that there are no negatives are blatently wrong and cast a shadow on legitimate efforts to reform peoples misonceptions about the substance.

Tim King:  First, this is the last comment you will have posted here where you call the staff or myself "idiot."  You are consistent with all the others on your misinformation platform, in that insults are about all you have to work with.  Scientific evidence has proven time and time again that marijuana does more good than harm.  Of course people shouldn't overindulge, they should not  with any substance.  So big brave drug fighter, once again you are limited to insults and name calling; man what a limited arsenal.  You need to study up, even just the articles on Salem-News.com will provide a large amount of information that would do you well to know.  Marijuana that is smoked means carcinogens are released into your lungs and that is bad.  The bottom line is that is does not induce violence, it does not cause hangovers, and it is a very manageable thing.  Are people better off without it?  Of course, just like anything the purer the better.  But you are an ignorance builder and you obviously do not have any of the current information.  So stick to your wive's tales and go back to your soap operas, and your tone will CHANGE here or I will merely flush your comments in the future.  Learn and drop the BS, it will make you a better person.


Wow July 25, 2008 7:10 pm (Pacific time)

You completely misread what I said entirely. Yes it's a pussycat compared to meth. DUH. NO S**T SHERLOCK. Never did I say pot and meth are the same, and I'm not confusing the issue. You just failed to understand from what was relatively clear that just because meth is WORSE doesn't mean pot isn't bad ALSO. Go ahead and show me where I one time said that it was just as bad. What I said was it's bad too. I'm responsible for the meth problem? Not a chance. Thanks but I report anything and everything I see that reasonably is suspicion for drug dealings or usage, regardless of the drug. I do everything I can to attempt to get the crap at least out of the areas I see it, which admittedly isn't much, but I do far more than your average joe who lives next to or near a drug den and does nothing but look the other way. Thanks though. However, even if I refused to accept that meth is worse than pot, that still wouldn't be even indirectly causing the meth issue unless I thought meth was just a nuisance like some people think pot is. Which I don't. I think meth and pot both need to be stamped out except pot only for certain limited medically supervised and controlled uses. That still doesn't mean I think that pot is as bad as meth, it's not, but it's far from a victimless crime or a harmless one. Even if you want to take the angle of people hear you talking about pot being as bad as meth and believe it and they see pot use and think it's not that bad, so they think that meth must not be that bad either, it's still an invalid argument. People's ignorance and choice to not educate themselves is their own fault, not mine. Even if my take was completely off base, which numerous studies and personal experiences of myself and many others say it's not, if someone chooses to take at face value my opinions on how bad one drug is compared to another and educate themselves its their own failing.


Wow July 25, 2008 6:59 pm (Pacific time)

Hey Tim,

No offense, but you're full of it. Numerous scientific studies from the most reputable sources in the academic and scientific world have proved the addictive and intoxicating properties of marijuana, as well as the negative effect on brain cells. You can refuse to believe it all you like, it really doesn't matter.

Secondly, Nowhere did I even begin to try to keep people in the dark or lessen or belittle the absolute horror that is meth. Meth is horrible and a blight on society, and responsible for countless lives.

My "lack of experience" as you call it, (which I don't know where you're picking up me admitting to a lack of experience, unless you're referring to my statement that I do neither meth or pot, which if so, I AM DAMNED PROUD OF THANK YOU VERY MUCH) comes from prolonged, life-long experience with family members, people in the neighborhoods I've lived in, people in neighborhoods I have cause to visit when I am seeing family or acquaintences, etc. It is first hand and unfiltered. It is the wretched and horrible things I've watched people do to friends and family. I've watched more people than I can count steal from family and friends who could barely make it month to month, or in some cases, weren't even doing that. I've watched people lie to supposed loved ones, alienate them, and other unjustices, all due to pot usage. You don't believe it? Whatever, I don't care. I know what I've lived through, and what I've seen. I know the things my family, myself, and many others I know and have known in the past suffer through from someone using pot.

My issue isn't harsh coverage of meth, hey, go for it, bash meth users all over the head if you want, I'll join you. My issue is assuming and insinuating that all metal thieves are meth users, which is utter BS, as there's no doubt plenty of non drug using people stealing metal as well. My second issue is the pro pot op-ed style personal slant practically evangelizing pot usage. Calling pot usage a "harmless and victimless crime" is an outrage. Why don't you go tell that to some of the people I know who've actually been tossed out on the street with their kids because some pothead stole money they needed for rent, and see how many teeth you come away with.

Nowhere am I indicating that pot is as bad as meth, in fact, if you read what I wrote, I said "just because one IS WORSE THAN THE OTHER, doesn't make the other any less bad"

Dunno about you, but to me that says meth is worse than pot, but just because meth is worse, doesn't make pot not bad at all. I never said pot is as bad or that meth isn't bad or that meth is only slightly bad or anything of the sort. Here's a better way of putting it.

Just because murder is FAR WORSE than assault, doesn't mean that assault isn't bad.
Murder=meth
Assault=pot

Get it now? THEY'RE BOTH BAD. Yes, meth is FAR WORSE, but that in no way means pot isn't bad too, nor does it make pot a harmless and victimless crime.

Meh, I don't even know why I'm bothering. I've dealt with enough people who act like there's nothing wrong with pot to know that no matter how much proof you put in front of them, they'll never believe it or simply won't listen.

Tim King:  You have your perspective and I have mine.  I know people who have used marijuana for decades and decades and don't have a single bad feature because of it.  I have never heard of a "pothead" breaking into anyone's home to steal because of it, that is fantasy and you know it is.  Your side likes to take some drunken idiot who is probably all jacked up on meth, but also has pot, and make that be your "pothead".

I have many friends who are cops (which I assume you are also) that would throw that notion out in the trash.  Pot users don't steal to get pot, less than a tiny percentage at best.  Are there metal thieves who are not meth addicts?  Oh sure, I will give you that one too, but does it matter what a tiny fraction is doing compared to the overall problem?  Do you like having jail space for bad people tied up with pot users? 

I am ready to find some new names by the way for you guys: THE SQUARES who make life hard on people by living off bad notions that you never tested for yourself.  The HAPRER VALLEY PTA CROWD.  Your name calling is a weak and not respectable and yet very predictable last resort because the data you try to point to was all cooked by by government agencies that did so by direction.  Yes I am a hipocrite at this moment, but so what.  Ever heard of the Shaffer Report?  That was the group commissioned by Nixon to evaluate marijuana and produce really hard data that the feds could work from.  Well, they came back (this is verifiable) and said essentially, that marijuana should be legal and had few if any negative impacts.  What did Nixon do?  Ignore the findings, that is what.  Then the repub's had it figured out; LIE LIE AND LIE SOME MORE like Bush today and all the Republican maneuverings.  If you say it enough, the LIE, then people will believe it.  I have no doubt that it frustrates the Kevin Mannix's of the world and the like that we have a loud and clear voice here at Salem-News.com and a lot of respect becasue medical marijuana coverage is only one thing we do here.  If the government had played even close to fair with pot all these years (not having it be a schedule 1 controlled substance like meth and heroin) then we would be calmer.  There is at least one judge and there are many, MANY professional people in Salem and Portland who use it all the time.  You don't know who they are because you have to be "cool" which means accepting and not full of pre determined thoughts.  Let it be, let pot be what it is and please don't undermine my real efforts to fight drugs by talking about his ridiculous crap called meth.

 


Wow July 25, 2008 12:56 pm (Pacific time)

Tim, your article, while there are some good points, is best served as a classroom example to journalism students of slanted and biased journalism. First, you blatantly assume and insinuate, with absolutely no supporting facts, evidence, or even indication to support, the conclusion that ALL metal thieves are meth addicts. The odds of this being true are simply not in your favor here. Then, if that wasn't bad enough, the personal slant tone your article takes on, which comes across as basically trying to convince people that meth is bad and pot isn't, finishes it off. Meth is bad, and most of us know this. Guess what? SO IS POT. Just because one is worse than the other, doesn't make the other any less bad. I don't do meth, and I don't smoke pot. Wanna know why? Because I've known and associated with people who smoke pot, and seen the effects. 9 out of 10 people that smoke pot *that I've known* have been thieves, liars, and if they weren't into other criminal activity when they started smoking pot, they evolved into it while smoking pot. Most of them wouldn't have thought twice about stealing money or items from their own family and friends, strangers, or anyone or anyplace else to pay for their pot. Several knew the money they were stealing was for rent and utilities for cash strapped friends with infant or toddler children, and when those people and their children suddenly had no electricity or were out on the streets, they had no remorse for the fact that it was their fault. They were sittin back chillin' happy and "mellow dude" on their pot. You want to believe that pot is a victimless harmless crime? Fine, you're entitled to your belief, even if said belief comes from apparently having your head shoved up your rear end. Just quit trying to subtly evangelize something that is ILLEGAL, DOES HARM PEOPLE AND DESTROY LIVES, and has been PROVEN, REPEATEDLY, to kill brain cells.

Are there some legitimate uses for cannabis and hemp? Sure. Are there some benefits to be had from these substances under *limited* circumstances? sure. But general usage is not one of those situations, and whether you choose to believe it or not, does cause quite a large amount of harm. Try growing up with family members and half of everyone around you in your neighborhoods doing this crap, and see the damage they leave in their wake in their quest for more bud when they're broke and wantin to fly high, and maybe you won't think the stuff is so wonderful.

Someone please send this article to the local college journalism departments to use as a nice example of what NOT to do.

 Hey WOW: I'm a groundpounder; I cover war and crime and death and mayhem and you, almost humorously, admit your total and complete lack of experience.  I will always approach meth-related stories this this way because there is nothing to compare between meth and pot, but uninformed people like YOU keep people in the dark and ignorant and you should be ashamed of yourself. I can only hope that you have a small impact with your misinformation.  Pot is natural, it is not overly intoxicating, it is medicinal.  It does not cause any of the problems you suggest, you are dreaming. 

Meth is chemical madness, completely addictive and there are seientific evidence to back up everything I say.  I have been there WOW, I have covered it on the street, I have covered it in court more times than I can count.  Dopamine levels from marijuana approach 275, crystal meth tops 1000.  That is from the Salem, Oregon (retired) police chief Walt Myers.  People like you confuse everybody and because you refuse to accept the evidence that marijuana is an absolute pussycat compared to meth, you are indirectly responsible for the meth problem, good work WOW.

 


katy July 23, 2008 12:16 am (Pacific time)

i fully agree with this article. let's get our priorities in line, here. whose more of a threat to society, a blazed out stoner whose playing video games on his couch with a bag of munchies, or a tweak going round robbing places and hurting and killing people? it's disappointing, really.


Lank Bodkins July 22, 2008 9:58 pm (Pacific time)

They should send convicted tweakers to a Gitmo type facility until they get their s**t together, these people are total losers and deserve no sympathy, just hard core rehab. They leech off their families and society in general. The police need to crack down on these folks hard and lay off prosecuting recreational stoners, who are by and large responsible citizens just catching a buzz like drinkers.


POTYOUMENTARIES.COM July 20, 2008 3:51 pm (Pacific time)

OUR GOVERNMENT ALWAYS FINDING THE EASIEST MANNER TO GENERATE REVENUE AT OUR EXPENSE.WHILE WE AS POT SMOKERS DO NOT REQUIRE A TREATMENT PROGRAM TO CEASE USING IT.WHILE METH AND HARD DRUG USERS OFTEN NEED TREATMENT THAT THE GOVERNMENT CANNOT PROVIDE TO THEM.AND NEVER ALLOW US TO FORGET THAT NICOTINE IS THE MOST ADDICTIVE DRUG KNOWN TO MANKIND.IMAGINE FOR A MOMENT THE TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF TAX REVENUE POT WILL GENERATE FOR THE STATE OF OREGON, WHEN WE THE PEOPLE,VOTE TO ALLOW IT TO BE LEGAL FOR ADULTS TO USE. IT COULD ALSO PROVIDE THE HELP THAT HARD DRUG USERS NEED.


Vic July 20, 2008 7:12 am (Pacific time)

Ex-hippie...I think you hit the nail on the head. Plus pot smokers are an easier bust than whacked out tweakers that tend to be violent.


Exhippie July 19, 2008 2:22 pm (Pacific time)

Follow the money...Meth heads have nothing, while people who smoke cannabis are hard working families with jobs and homes that the new revenue system needs to buy those shiny mustangs and cool new swat type gear. It is sad that we have turned our community law enforcement into revenuers with an insatiable hunger for ever shiner toys, while real crime is just not profitable enough to really target any longer.

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