Eugene Police Street Crimes Unit had been actively searching for two to three weeks for two individuals who had several warrants and have histories of vehicle theft and burglary: Vaughn Bradley Ruzicka, age 29, of Eugene, and Nicole Lee Ray, age 25, of Veneta.
Ruzicka had avoided capture a few weeks ago and although Ray had been apprehended, she reported ingesting Heroin and this landed her in the care of a local hospital for about an hour before she took off. Her warrants were never cleared.
In the early morning hours of September 18, Lane County Sheriff’s Office fielded a report of a White Dodge 2500 truck that was unlawfully entered and stolen out of Veneta. The victims in this case posted about their loss on Facebook. This paid dividends when someone who had read the post observed the stolen White Dodge 2500 parked at Walmart, 1040 Green Acres Road, on September 18 at 7:54 p.m. The community member recognized the truck from Facebook and observed Ruzicka and Ray exit and walk into Walmart. The individual provided a detailed physical description and remained on scene, where they were subsequently contacted by an officer.
Eugene Police Patrol responded as did EPD SCU, merging together for an operation to arrest Ruzicka and Ray. They arrested Ruzicka and Ray after the pair left Walmart and got into the stolen truck. During the arrest, officers found another individual inside the truck, Zakkeri James Hubbell, age 25, of Elmira.
Vaughn Bradley Ruzicka, age 29, of Eugene, was taken into custody on five warrants, Probable Cause Unlawful Use of Vehicle. Possession of Stolen Vehicle, and Unlawful Possession Controlled Substance Heroin.
Nicole Lee Ray, age 25, Veneta, was taken into custody on three warrants and charged with probable cause Unauthorized Use Vehicle.
Zakkeri James Hubbell, age 25, of Elmira was charged with probable cause Unauthorized Use Vehicle, Unauthorized Entry Motor Vehicle, and Fraudulent Use of Credit Card.
Media Note: We are not providing the helpful community member’s name to protect the cases for trial.
Eugene Police Street Crimes Unit
The SCU has been focusing on prolific offenders, who are identified through intelligence-based policing, public tips and other sources. They have been proactively responding across the city to quality of life issues as they arise, using all available resources and partners such as community groups, neighborhood associations and city services.
The unit makes a dynamic difference in a variety of public safety issues including on emerging crimes and neighborhood livability issues. This team creates capacity within the organization to address and solve problems throughout the city of Eugene. SCU is a tangible outcome of the one-time,18-month bridge funding by Eugene City Council that is dedicated to targeting immediate and acute community safety system issues while working toward mission-critical enhancements that need to be addressed through a longer-term and broader community safety initiative. The unit currently consists of a lieutenant, a sergeant and eight officers. The team will also include another sergeant in the near future.