PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A 48-year-old woman remains locked up in the Multnomah County Detention Center after admitting to detectives that her drug habit fueled her to commit 14 burglaries through the city.
Yvonne Wright has been charged with 11 counts of first-degree burglary and three counts of second-degree burglary for alleged crimes that range from Oct. 2010 – Feb. 2014.
A detective with the Portland Police Bureau Burglary Detail received information that Wright was involved in a number of burglaries. Police said they believe she was acting alone.
“This was her job,” Detective Stephen Gandy said. “She made a decent amount of money.”
Wright was contacted by detectives on Feb. 4, 2014 in the area of Southeast 60th and Southeast Flavel. Police took her into custody on a warrant. She was given her rights and then allowed police to search her car before being transported to the Multnomah County Detention Center. Police said it doesn’t appear that Wright was targeting anyone specifically.
During the search, the checkbook belonging to Donald Lukich was found, police said. Lukich has told police his home was burglarized on Jan. 24, 2014.
When police interviewed Wright, she admitted that she had a methamphetamine habit that caused “her to steal things,” court documents state. Wright admitted to a number of burglaries, police said. After the interview, Wright “pointed out locations where she had committed burglaries,” court documents state.
She also gave the detective consent to search her home. Inside, police found several items that had been taken in several of the burglaries.
Wright was released from MCDC and went back to her old ways, officials said. Court records show, even after being contacted by police and being told she was under investigation, she committed a burglary on Feb. 6, 2014.
On Feb. 12, 2014, the detective met with Wright again and she confessed to committing more burglarizes, court documents state.
Wright admitted to a burglary at a residence in the 4900-block of Southeast Cesar Chavez Boulevard. The detective reviewed the initial report and discovered that the victim told patrol officers that when he came home from work, he found some jewelry had been taken, court documents state. The detective located a pawn shop receipt that showed Wright had sold the jewelry.
Detectives learned that Wright admitted to burglarizing a residence in the 7100-block of Southeast 72nd Avenue. Police learned in the initial report, the victim reported having a ring and several items stolen. Wright told the detective that she entered the house though an open basement door.
Greg Hamilton, the reported victim in that case, said he thought the investigation had gone cold.
“A lot of crime is brought about by rough circumstances,” Hamilton said.
He said he’s not mad at the suspect. He just wishes that Wright gets help after learning that drugs reportedly played a role in the suspect’s motive to steal.
“Responsibility does have to kick in and sometimes that’s where the law gets involved,” Hamilton said.
Wright also stands accused of burglarizing home business in the 4100-block of Southeast Woodstock. Officers learned that Wright had “taken a stroller, sander, camera and other items” from inside the school, court documents state. Police said the preschool is situated inside a home and that the owner was asleep during the burglary.
Detectives said Wright admitted to burglarizing a home in the 13100-block of East Burnside Street two times. Wright said she made entry by breaking a window. She told police that she “had put a number of items into bags she found at the house,” court documents state. Police then learned that Wright “hid in the house for several hours” until police left after they responded to a burglary alarm, court documents state. The victim told police that there were three bags full of his property staged by the door.
Police said Wright admitted to burglarizing a home in the 12100-block of Southeast Kelly Street where she stole a paint sprayer, tool boxes and a light fixture.
The detective learned that Wright tried to burglarize a home in the 4200-block of Southeast 73rd but was scared away by an older lady who confronted her, court documents state. Police said in the initial report, there is information that describes a neighbor “who confronted and scared off the would-be burglar,” court documents state.
In one case, Wright reluctantly admitted to burglarizing a home in the 3800-block of Southeast 16th where she took a bicycle, court documents state. Police said she admitted that she “traded the bike for dope.” Again, police said the victim found several items placed in a pillow case near the door that appeared to be staged for removal.
During a follow up investigation, police met with Lukich, who reportedly had his check book stolen. Police learned that Wright took the checkbook and several other items.
Wright admitted to burglarizing a home near Southeast Holgate and Southeast 28th. She said she took some jewelry and a shop-vac and a statue. Police said, they were able to review the initial reports, which corroborated her admissions.
When searching Wright’s home, they found a compressor. Wright admitted that she had taken it from a detached garage in the 13400-block of Southeast Foster Road.
In one case, Wright admitted to stealing a violin in the 5300-block of Southeast Harney Drive. “Wright explained…(she) felt bad that she had taken the violin because she thought it belonged to a little girl, so she returned it,” court documents state. Detectives reviewed the reports filed after the initial burglary and confirmed that the violin was returned anonymously.
Wright is accused of burglarizing a home in the 4800-block of Southeast 52nd where she admitted to taking clothing, a mattress and some camping gear, police said.
In another case, Wright admitted to stealing some jewelry and a jewelry box from a home in the 5600-block of Southeast Lambert Street.
Wright later admitted that her first burglary happened in 2010 in the 6000-block of Southeast Tenino Street where she admitted to stealing costume jewelry, coins and papers.
Wright appeared in Multnomah County Circuit Court Thursday where prosecutors charged her with 11 counts of first-degree burglary and three counts of second-degree burglary.
Her bail has been set at more than $500,000. Her next court appearance is scheduled for Feb. 28.
Anyone with information on the case or recognizes interaction with Wright is asked to call the Portland Police Bureau Unit at 503-823-BURG (2874).
— Brent Weisberg