At 9:53 p.m. on May 23, 2022, Eugene Springfield Fire Marshals responded to an arson at the TJ Maxx, 235 Coburg Road. They were assisted by Eugene Police Patrol and then later by EPD Arson investigators. Between ESF and EPD, there was a good amount of collaboration and teamwork.
The teams worked the case and identified a Eugene man, Zachary Everett Oberle, age 34, as the suspect. He was suspected of lighting the fire as a distraction for his girlfriend to shoplift and he had warrants. Damage to the store was estimated to be more than $92,000.
On November 15, 2022, a Eugene Police officer spotted Oberle’s girlfriend and then found and took Oberle into custody on his warrants. Oberle had been asleep in an apartment when contacted. The Arson investigator wrote and applied for a search warrant through a local judge after reviewing surveillance video of the pair from May 23, 2022.
EPD served a search warrant at the girlfriend’s apartment and recovered some of the property she stole.
Oberle has been in custody on this case for five months on charges of Arson in the Second Degree and Criminal Mischief in the First Degree. Last week he changed his plea to guilty, and on April 14, the case went to open sentencing, with the State arguing for 30 months in prison and the defense asking for probation. The judge handed down the maximum sentence of 30 months in prison. Case 22-07890