Safety and Public Awareness

Safety and Public Awareness

News reporting arrests, weather warnings, product recalls, and other important information relating to safety and public awareness, are found in this category.


As previously posted, according to information from the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office, dated Fri., Oct 21, 2011:

At around 2 pm, on Thursday October 20, 2011, a Humboldt County Sheriff's Deputy found the body of a man in the Klamath River, in approximately five feet of water, at the base of the an embankment. At the time of the press release the identity of the deceased man had not been released pending notification of next of kin. 

Recent information from the Humboldt County Coroner's Office has identified the deceased man as 71 yr. old Richard Thorpe who regularly traveled from Ireland to Humboldt County to fish. Coroner's Office information additionally indicated that Thorpe died from blunt force trauma after falling 200 feet down an embankment.

Click here to see the original KMUD News post.

Click here to read more about Richard Thorpe.


The photo below shows Richard Thorpe with his partner Patricia Burns.




According to an article in the Times-Standard, on-line, posted Oct., 25, 2011:
"Sheriff's detectives arrested a Hoopa man in connection with the Thursday robbery of the Coast Central Credit Union branch at the Ray's Food Place in McKinleyville. The Sheriff's Office said Clarence Joseph Lewis III, 29, called the Hoopa Valley Tribal Police at 1:30 p.m. Monday wishing to surrender himself to law enforcement. An officer drove to a home in Hoopa and took Lewis into custody without incident. The officer then drove Lewis to the sheriff's office where he was booked into the Humboldt County jail at 5:40 p.m. on one count of robbery for Thursday's robbery. Lewis chose not to give a statement to investigators. DNA evidence was collected from him at the time of his arrest, pursuant to a search warrant. Lewis is believed to have robbed the Ray's Food Place Coast Central Credit Union at gunpoint wearing a bandanna over his face and a large felt-style floppy hat. He is also wanted for questioning in a string of robberies committed by a suspect law enforcement is calling the Dust Mask Bandit."
Use the links below to view other KMUD posts related to this case:
Friday, October 21, 2011

Man's body found in Klamath River

Written by
According to a press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office, dated Fri., Oct 21, 2011:
On Thursday October 20, 2011 at about 8:30 AM, Hoopa Valley Resident Deputy David Brooks was conducting an unrelated case follow up in the Orleans area.  He was approached by a concerned party who wished to report seeing a suspicious vehicle on Ishi Pishi Road, near the Sandy Bar Ranch.  Deputy Brooks completed his follow up and drove to the described area where he located a Toyota sedan.  The driver’s door of the vehicle was open and the windows were rolled down.  Inside the vehicle were multiple items of value, fishing poles and fishing equipment.  
Deputy Brooks searched the area and looked over an embankment that was approximately 200 feet above the Klamath River.  At that location was evidence that lead Deputy Brooks to believe someone may have fallen down the embankment (disturbed dirt and broken vegetation).  The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Team was requested and responded to the area.  At arount 2 PM, the body of a male was found in approximately five feet of water, at the base of the same embankment.  The body was removed from the water and the Humboldt County Coroner was called. There was no evidence of foul play found at the scene.  Based on a collaborative effort between the Coroner’s Office and Sheriff’s Office, the death is being investigated as an accidental or possible medically related death.  Evidence recovered from the vehicle showed the victim had pre-existing medical problems.  It is not know if these conditions contributed to the fall.
The name of the victim is not being released at this time as the victim’s family has not been located for notification by the Coroner.  It appears the decedent is a resident and citizen of Northern Ireland.  The Coroner is currently working with the United States Embassy in Northern Ireland to locate and notify family members or next of kin.  Once that is completed, requests for the victim’s identity can be made through the Coroner's Office.


 According to a press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office, dated Fri., Oct 21, 2011:

On Thursday October 20, 2011 at about 1:30 PM, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a bank robbery at the   Ray’s Food Place Coast Central Credit Union Branch.  Deputies responded to the bank and discovered the suspect had successfully robbed the bank and had fled prior to the arrival of the deputies.  Employees of the bank were interviewed and described how a dark tan complexion male (5-9 to 5-10 tall with medium to stocky build) approached the teller counter.  The suspect was wearing a dark colored bandana over his face and wearing a large felt style floppy hat, “Like a pimp costume hat,” gray sweater with a very bright royal blue shirt under the sweater.  The first teller the suspect approached, told the suspect he would need to remove the bandana from his face prior to conducting business.  The suspect then displayed a handgun and demanded money from the teller.  The suspect next went to a desk and demanded money and was told none was stored at that location.  The suspect then went to a second teller and demanded money there. Subsequently the suspect exited the bank with an amount of money that is not being released.  An employee followed the suspect out of the bank and was able to watch him remove his hat (dark “buzzed cut hair) and enter a green newer model Mazda with tinted windows, white stickers on the rear window and a “5” in the license plate. The employee watched as the vehicle drove out of sight, westbound on School Road.
An officer from the Arcata Police Department had been monitoring the call and parked near US 101 and Giuntoli Lane to watch for the suspect vehicle.  The suspect vehicle did pass the Arcata Officer and an attempted traffic stop was made.  The suspect failed to yield to the Arcata Police Unit and a pursuit was initiated.  The suspect drove to the 500 block of Fieldbrook Road, near Parker Lane, and exited the vehicle fleeing into the woods behind the residence.  Deputies from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, Wardens from the California Department of Fish and Game, Officers from the Arcata Police Department and Officers from the California Highway Patrol responded to assist in the search for the suspect.  A request for a helicopter from the California Highway Patrol was made.  The helicopter attempted to respond to the search area, but was not able to assist due to low clouds and fog.
At the suspect search scene the California Highway Patrol restricted traffic to one lane, due to the high volume of police vehicles.  The roadway was not closed.  The Arcata Police Department was responding with a K9 to assist with the suspect search and a perimeter was maintained awaiting the K9.  The Fieldbrook Elementary School, which was 3 – 4 miles from this scene, was notified of the current situation.  The school independently decided to place the school on “lock down.”  This lock down also affected the Dow’s Prairie Elementary School’s end of day bus route.  Once the Arcata Police Department K9 arrived on scene, an extensive search of the area began.  This included contacting numerous residents for possible sightings of the suspect and search of multiple outbuildings and wooded and brushy locations.  The suspect was not located during this first search.  At no point was a SWAT team requested or involved with this search.
The search was suspended and Sheriff’s Detectives, Sheriff’s Crime Scene Investigator and FBI Agents arrived to process the suspect’s vehicle for evidence.  During this process, officers and agents were alerted by a resident who had just seen the suspect on Parker Road.  One deputy briefly witnessed the suspect as he ran into a heavily wooded area.  Again multiple officers and agents converged on the location with the assistance of the APD K9.  The K9 alerted on several locations, multiple buildings were searched and neighbors notified.  The suspect was not located and the search was concluded when hours of darkness limited the ability to safely search. During this operation, there were no evacuations requested of the neighborhood and multiple residents were contacted to be made aware of the situation.  Residents were asked to be vigilant of their surroundings and to call the Sheriff’s Office with any suspicious activity.
The Sheriff’s Office and FBI are conducting the robbery as a joint investigative effort.  The identity of the suspect is believed to be known by the investigators.  There were multiple items of evidence located that are being forensically analyzed that will further solidify the suspect’s identity.  The name of the suspect will not be released until the analysis of the evidence is completed.  There is a high degree of probability that this suspect is responsible for other bank robberies, not only in our area but other locations in California and Oregon.  Recovered evidence is being evaluated to support that probability. 
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