On Wednesday, January 8 Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) Deputy Richard “Rich” Ortiz, was awarded a Sheriff’s Commendation for his exemplary work solving a commercial burglary case in Dunsmuir. In November 2019, he investigated the burglary that occurred at the Cornerstone Bakery in Dunsmuir. A large amount of currency was stolen during the burglary and theft and when deputies arrived, the suspect had fled the scene of the crime. During an extensive investigation, Deputy Ortiz developed leads that ultimately identified the suspect in the case, Mr. Lamont Brown. Mr. Brown was previously implicated in a burglary at a local restaurant and he had recently been identified as a key suspect in a burglary and theft that occurred just outside of the City of Weed.
Deputy Ortiz discovered Mr. Brown was housed at the Siskiyou County Jail after being charged with another series of crimes. Deputy Ortiz filed a criminal complaint through the Siskiyou County District Attorney’s Office and burglary and theft charges were later filed against Mr. Brown for the Cornerstone Bakery-related crimes. Deputy Ortiz was cited for his outstanding investigative work in resolving the burglary and theft case. Deputy Ortiz was also praised for amassing a consistent record of professionalism, proactive work productivity, innovation, and effectiveness as a peace officer.
According to Sheriff Jon Lopey, “Deputy Ortiz is an exemplary deputy and it is a pleasure serving with co-workers of his caliber and strong work ethic. We are also pleased to serve the great citizens of Dunsmuir. SCSO has enjoyed a long-standing, prosperous working relationship with Dunsmuir citizens, city leaders, business owners, and visitors since a law enforcement services contract was originally devised by then Sheriff Charlie Byrd in 1992.”
On-hand to congratulate Deputy Ortiz were, Captain Karl Houtman, Sheriff Lopey, and Deputy Devin Paulus. Deputy Ortiz was recommended for the prestigious award by his supervisor, Sergeant Ben Whetstine.