Man arrested for alleged burglary during evacuation

Christian Martin Berry

On Sept. 20, Lincoln City police arrested Christian Martin Berry, 29, of Lincoln City, on misdemeanor charges of second-degree criminal trespass and second-degree criminal mischief, as well as felony counts of second-degree burglary, interfering with a peace officer, and first-degree theft for a theft allegedly committed during an emergency in an area affected by fire, catastrophe or emergency. Berry was lodged at the Lincoln County Jail with a total bail of $127,500.

At about 9:15 p.m., the Lincoln City Police Department responded to a report of a broken window and a male inside Grocery Outlet, 4157 NW Highway 101. At the time, this location was part of a Level 3 mandatory evacuation zone as a result of ongoing firefighting efforts with the Echo Mountain Complex fire. The initial broken window report was made by an Oregon Department of Transportation employee who was manning a roadblock at the intersection of Northwest Logan Road and Highway 101, just below the Grocery Outlet location.

Lincoln City Police Department arrived on scene at about 9:20 p.m. and discovered a lower glass window of the automatic front door was broken out. A sleeping bag and backpack were laying near the damaged entrance door. Additional officers responded and set up a perimeter. Police had difficulty seeing inside the darkened store as the power was currently out in the area. The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office K-9 team was requested.  

Lincoln City officers made multiple announcements over the public address system commanding anyone inside the building to exit, but no response was received. A short time later, sheriff K-9 handler Deputy Zach Akin and K-9 Bonnie arrived on scene and began making additional announcements that a K-9 was on scene, but still no response was received.

At about 10:08 p.m., the K-9 team, along with Lincoln City officers, made entry into the building and began searching the store for intruders. During the search, the suspect, who police identified as Berry, was located sitting on the floor at the south end of the store drinking beer and listening to music on his cellphone.

Berry refused to obey verbal commands by officers to drop the beer bottle and stand up, police say, and a team of officers were able to place him in handcuffs and walk him to the front of the store.

Berry then refused to exit the store through the broken front door and was placed in a “WRAP restraint device, which allowed officers to carry Berry through the opening in the door. The “WRAP” was then removed.  

Officers noticed Berry had a cut on his back and called for medical care, but Berry refused assistance. Berry was subsequently transported to the jail. 

Police noted in their press release about the incident that Berry was arrested July 22 for allegedly burglarizing the Zuhg Life Surf Shop in Lincoln City.

Lincoln City police thanked the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance with the incident, with a special thanks to Akin and K-9 Bonnie for their help in locating and capturing the suspect. 

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