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A Gresham man accused of stealing and selling heavy equipment is facing 30 felony charges after police served an early-morning search warrant at his home and found a cache of guns and an explosive, police said.
Christopher Norwood Young, 27, is being held in Multnomah County’s Inverness Jail on $292,500 bail and is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday. Police said he advertised heavy equipment from area construction sites on Craigslist, met with potential buyers when construction workers weren’t around and later stole and sold the equipment.
He sold the equipment, such as front loaders and skid steer tractors, for between $9,000 and $30,000, Gresham police said in a news release. Detective Brandon Crate, a Gresham police spokesman, said police have found three or four pieces of such equipment.
Police are still investigating the thefts, and there could be more, Crate said. He said an attorney for Fabian Peniche, who police identified as another suspect in some of the thefts, told police Peniche will turn himself in Wednesday.
Police have asked for help from the public in finding Peniche, who Crate said doesn’t live with Young and isn’t connected to the cache of guns.
Law enforcement officers found AK-47 and AR-15 rifles, five other rifles, nine handguns, a pair of homemade suppressors, a pipe bomb, ammunition and weapon parts at Young’s home, which is in the 16600 block of Northeast Wasco Street, police said. Police said said they also came upon “an arsenal of weapons” — including a live grenade and two training grenades — during a June search in the theft cases.
Evidence gathered during that search led to Tuesday’s arrest, Crate said.
During the June search, Crate said police found a video of Young firing a fully-automatic rifle inside his home, among other evidence. Police said Young “was firing both inside his residence into a 50 gallon drum style barrel and in the backyard.” Police also said Young made several suppressors to stifle the sound of gunfire.
Police also found evidence Young communicated with someone else about a school shooting. The conversation, Crate said, included vague threats that weren’t specific to an individual school. Police don’t have any indication of immediate threats, Crate said, and haven’t identified the other person.
Police said they’re “continuing to investigate the legitimacy” of the threats. Young lives near H.B. Lee Middle School.
Young is facing weapons, identity theft, theft, stolen vehicle possession and unauthorized use of a vehicle charges, among others, court records show. He faces 39 charges overall.
Police ask anyone who has information about Young, Peniche or the investigation to call the department’s tip line, 503-618-2719.