ELGIN — The Union County Sheriff's Office made three arrests in Elgin the second week of January.
Sheriff Boyd Rasmussen said the cases involved theft and other crimes and the suspects are locals who previously have been in trouble with the law. One of the arrests required the help of the office’s police dog.
The first occurred Jan. 7, when the sheriff’s office put the cuffs on Joshua Toy, 29, in connection to the New Year’s Eve theft of a vehicle. He faces charges of unauthorized entry into a vehicle, unauthorized use of a vehicle and first-degree theft.
Two days later, the sheriff’s office arrested Michael V. Massi, 30, following an extensive investigation into thefts and burglaries in Elgin. Rasmussen said the investigation connected Massi to the theft of stolen guns and other property on Jan. 2. Massi already was in the Union County Jail, La Grande, for a probation violation when he was arrested Jan. 9 for burglary, theft, felon in possession of a firearm and criminal mischief.
The most significant arrest, Rasmussen said, was Saturday’s capture of Dustin J. Mathis of Elgin. The sheriff’s office pursued the 28-year-old man for three days.
Mathis in November 2019 pleaded no contest to burglary, theft and felon in possession of a firearm and received four years of probation, according to state court records, but on Dec. 3 he stopped checking in with his probation officer. The court revoked the probation and issued a warrant for his arrest.
Rasmussen said Mathis ducked and dodged law enforcement for three days, even bolting across the Grande Ronde River to escape police. He also changed his wet clothes and shoes, the sheriff said.
The sheriff’s office managed to track Mathis to a home in Elgin owned by someone he knew. Rasmussen said deputy Dane Jensen and his police dog Molly found Mathis as he was trying to hide. The man gave up and came out when he knew the dog was on him.
The sheriff’s office arrested Mathis for misdemeanor escape. Like the other two men, he also is in the county jail.
Rasmussen credited the success of these arrests to strong communication between the deputies and the victims and rigorous pursuit of the suspects.
"It is a matter of the entire force working to share information," Rasmussen said. "We have a great team right now."