On June 3, 2019 at about 8:06 PM, Lincoln City Police Officers responded to a citizens report of seeing a suspicious male wearing dark clothing milling around an unoccupied residence in the 3700 block of SW Anchor Ct. Officers responded to the area and began searching for the male and while searching they located a residence that had the glass of one of its entry doors broken out. Officers began checking around the residence and saw a male subject flee out the back door carrying items from the residence as he fled down onto the beach. The officers chased the suspect as he fled southbound on the beach while other officers began arriving in the area. Just north of Spanish Head the male suspect ran up the steep cliff side embankment and began climbing up through the thick brush towards Highway 101. Arriving officers set up a perimeter at the top of the embankment, and to the north and south sides of where the suspect went up, but eventually lost sight of him due to the thick brush on the cliff. A Lincoln County Sheriff’s sergeant and an Oregon State Police trooper responded to the area to assist with holding a perimeter while waiting for the Lincoln County Sheriff’s K-9 Nix to respond.
While waiting for the K-9 to arrive, security personnel from The Inn at Spanish Head contacted on scene police officers and advised them where, from the hotel, he had seen someone on the cliff side in the thick brush north of the hotel smoking a cigarette. Once the Sheriff’s K-9 Nix arrived on scene, she and her handler were advised of the last known general location of the suspect and the K-9 began to track through the brush. The cliff side where the K-9 and her handler, along with another deputy and a Lincoln City Police Officer were tracking the suspect was very steep and treacherous terrain. K-9 Nix picked up the scent of the suspect during the track and located him hiding in thick brush about 75 feet up the embankment. Deputies began challenging the suspect and once the suspect realized that he had been found and that a K-9 was on scene, he finally complied with verbal commands and surrendered without further incident. The suspect, later identified as Billyray Benson Branum, was escorted by a Lincoln City Police Officer back down the cliff side to the beach where he was transported by the Lincoln City Police beach rig to a beach access location where he was secured in a Lincoln City Police patrol vehicle. From there Barnum was transported back to the original burglary location before being transported back to the Lincoln City Police Department and placed in a holding cell while booking paperwork was completed.
Billyray Benson Branum was subsequently transported to the Lincoln County Jail and lodged there on the charges of Burglary I, Theft III, Criminal Mischief II and Escape III. One Lincoln City Police Officer sustained a minor injury while climbing on the cliff side.
The Lincoln City Police would like to express our thanks and appreciation to the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office and the Oregon State Police for their assistance with this incident along with a special thank you to Deputy Smith and K-9 Nix for their help in locating and capturing the suspect.