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Men arrested in Newport burglary claim memory loss

Two young men who were arrested in connection with a Newport garage burglary both claimed they could not recall where they had been due to their memory problems.

Erik J. Christenson, 18, and Cory A. Pickerign, 19, both of Newport, were arrested March 25 and charged with second-degree aiding and abetting burglary.

According to police reports:

A homeowner in the 1300 block of 12th Avenue called police about 1 a.m. that morning to report that suspects were in his garage. The suspects, later identified as Christenson and Pickerign, ran from the scene before police arrived. Officers used a K9 to follow footprints from the garage to Christenson’s home in the 1500 block of 10th Avenue, where both men were sleeping.

Christenson initially denied being in the garage but then admitted to entering, but only after Pickerign did. Christenson admitted to stealing a pipe used to smoke marijuana.

The men were then interviewed separately at the Washington County jail. Christenson said he had memory problems and couldn’t recall where he had been or what he had told police a short time earlier.

Pickerign told police he suffered from a chemical imbalance that affects his memory. But when police told him Christenson had already admitted to entering the garage, Pickerign “suddenly remembered” and said it was his friend’s idea. He said he took a propane tank, and that they ran back to Christenson’s house.

Both were booked into the jail.

Scott Wente

Scott Wente has been editor at the South Washington County Bulletin since 2011. He worked as a reporter at other Forum Communications newspapers from 2003 to 2011.

(651) 459-7600
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