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California Fugitive Arrested Following Report of Person Breaking Into State Capitol Mall Parking Meters
03/17/2012
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
(503) 731-3020 ext. 247
gregg.hastings@state.or.us

Photograph links valid 30 days - Sources:
Marion County Sheriff's Office
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Oregon State Police
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Oregon State Police (OSP), with the help of Salem Police Department, arrested a transient Thursday night in the State Capitol Mall area that was wanted out of California. Officers found the man leaving the parking lot area near the Department of Veterans' Affairs and Department of Agriculture buildings following a report of a person trying to break into parking meters.
 
According to Sergeant Dale Young, on March 15, 2012 at approximately 10:30 p.m. OSP received a report of a man witnessed breaking into parking meters in the parking lot between the Department of Veterans' Affairs and Department of Agriculture in the 700 block of Summer Street in Salem. Trooper Ray Henschel and Salem police officers responded to the area and spotted a man matching the suspect description walking away carrying a bag.
 
Henschel and Salem officers contacted the man who was subsequently identified as WALTER L. SCHMIDT, age 65, a transient living at the Union Gospel Mission in Salem. Subsequent investigation led to the discovery that the bag was full of tools including a hacksaw. Further inspection led Henschel to believe the suspect used the hacksaw to damage the two parking meters that showed signs of tampering.
 
When SCHMIDT was taken into custody, OSP learned he was wanted on a felony warrant out of California. SCHMIDT was lodged in the Marion County Jail on the following charges:
  • Fugitive From Justice (California Parole Violation felony warrant)
  • Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree
  • Possession of Burglary Tools
 
OSP is also investigating a similar incident in late February where a parking meter valued at over $800 was stolen from the Commerce Building parking lot. (See photos from this incident)
 
After lodging SCHMIDT in jail, OSP received another report that a parking meter was broken into at the Commerce Building parking lot. It is not known if SCHMIDT is connected with this second report or any other person(s) responsible for either of the incidents at the Commerce Building lot.
 
Anyone with information to help in these investigations is asked to contact Trooper Matt Gordon at (503) 986-1122 or email tips to Capitol.Police@state.or.us