Cold Case Solved:

Man Arrested for 1974 Murders of Two Teenagers

WCSO Detectives Solve 1974 Double Homicide

On October 3, 1974, 16-year-old Donald Bartron and 18-year-old Peter Zito, Jr., were murdered in the Oak Hills Recreation Center parking lot. Both Bartron and Zito Jr. had been shot multiple times in the head with a .22 caliber gun.

On Wednesday, November 2, 2022, just over 48 years later, detectives arrested 65-year-old Steven Paul Criss for those murders. Criss lived in Aloha and was arrested near his home.

The Washington County Sheriff's Office held a press conference on November 4, 2022, to provide the community with an update on the investigation and arrest of Steven Criss.

Read the full media release here.

Detectives would like to speak with anyone who has information about these murders or Criss’ activities since his release from prison in 1988. Detectives are also investigating the possibility Criss was responsible for additional homicides. Please call the Sheriff’s Office at 503-846-2700 with any information. If you wish to make an anonymous tip, please notify Crime Stoppers of Oregon at

Protect Your Packages this Holiday Season

With the holidays just around the corner, online shopping is a convenient service for many consumers across the nation. Unfortunately, packages delivered at all hours of the day can attract common crimes of opportunity, especially as we approach the holiday shopping season. Don’t let thieves intercept your scheduled deliveries (during the holidays or any time throughout the year).

Follow these steps to ensure your packages arrive safely for the intended recipient:

  • Do not leave packages unattended: Ask family, friends or neighbors to pick up packages if you plan to be gone for an extended period of time.
  • Require a signature: Delivery companies can provide options to require a signature before dropping off a package.
  • Ship to store: If you purchase an item from a retailer that has a physical location, consider delivering it there instead for pick up later.
  • Consider a package-receiving service: Some of the major retailers offer secure package-receiving locations that you can access with a key or code. Other independent businesses may offer this service as well.
  • Security camera: Install a home security system with cameras or a camera-enabled doorbell.
  • If you are missing a package, check with neighbors to ensure it wasn’t delivered to the wrong address.


If you believe your package has been stolen, call non-emergency dispatch at 503-629-0111. You can also file a report with the delivery company. If you observe someone stealing a package, immediately report it to 9-1-1.


For more information about package theft prevention, visit:


For other holiday shopping safety tips:

As We “Fall Back” to Shorter Days, Drive with Caution 

From darker days to heavy rain to foggy mornings, this time of year, we find ourselves driving when visibility is poor. Take extra precautions to keep yourself and others safe on the road.  

  • Reduce speed; drivers’ vision can be compromised, creating less reaction time, especially when driving at higher speeds.  
  • Increase following distance; to ensure there is enough time to stop safely if needed. 
  • Use the right edge of the road as a guide; white fog lines or roadside reflectors can serve as helpful guides in poor visibility situations.  
  • Turn your lights on; when visibility is limited, lights are not only to help you see but also to make your vehicle more visible to others on the road. 
  • Use your low beams; high beams will disperse in thick fog or snow, making visibility worse for you and other drivers. 
  • Minimize distractions; whatever draws your attention from the road (talking with passengers, eating, listening to the radio, etc.) should be minimized while driving in poor conditions. Never use cell phones or handheld devices while driving. 
  • Ensure your vehicle is weather-ready; clean your windshield and check your wiper blades; ensure tires have adequate tread and are rated for the weather; service your vehicle, and keep a cold-weather survival kit.  
  • Eliminate drowsy driving; driving while tired puts everyone at risk. According to the National Highway Safety Administration, drivers are three times more likely to be in a car crash if they are fatigued. Get plenty of rest, pull over if you’re drowsy, and travel during times you’re normally awake.  

Did you know everyone can access the Sheriff’s Office’s published media releases? We use media releases to provide information regarding notable events, investigations, arrests, public safety notifications, and sometimes to request assistance from the public. Media releases are an effective tool to uphold our commitment to providing accurate and timely information and maintaining trust and respect within our community.


Media and community members can access our published releases on our website, Facebook, Twitter, and email through a free FlashAlert subscription. Please understand that some information may be limited as our Public Information Officers cannot release inappropriate or premature information that may compromise an ongoing investigation.

In October WCSO deputies participated in a focused patrol safety mission with members of the Oregon State Police. During this one-night mission, the team conducted 170 traffic stops, issued 32 citations, and made 7 arrests for DUII - 3 were related to drug impairment. 50 drivers were stopped for speeding violations with several dangerous driving speeds ranging from 80-100 mph.

We continue to focus on slowing down drivers and other dangerous behaviors on our roadways. Everyone can do their part - remember to buckle up, slow down, put the phone down, move over, and drive safely.

The City of Cornelius, in partnership with Centro Cultural de Washington County and the Washington County Sheriff's Office, is excited to announce the return of the Cornelius Community Dinner. The purpose of this event is for members of the community to gather with one another as they enjoy a free turkey holiday meal together.

This year’s Community Dinner will take place on Saturday, November 19, 2022, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Cornelius Elementary School (200 N. 14th Ave, Cornelius, OR). Everyone is welcome and no reservations are required to attend. The dinner serves over 400 meals and is made possible through generous donations and volunteer hours provided by community partners in Cornelius.

For more information or to find out how you can help, please contact the City of Cornelius at 503-357-9112 or visit

Monthly Landlord Forum Returns

Every year, from October through May, the Westside Crime Prevention Coalition (WCPC) hosts monthly training forums for property owners and managers in Washington County. Participants can attend virtually to network and learn more about landlord-tenant laws.

Based on their expertise, attorneys from Warren Allen LLP discuss topics that commonly impact landlords and property managers. The monthly Forum also presents opportunities to work with local law enforcement agencies through WCPC, including representatives from the Washington County Sheriff's Office, Beaverton, Forest Grove, and Hillsboro Police Departments.  

For questions about the Landlord Forum, or to join the mailing list to receive reminders and Zoom links, please contact Public Affairs

2022-2023 Landlord Forum Schedule 

Connecting with Community

During October, deputies stopped by two Starbucks locations – Bethany and Cornelius, for coffee and conversation with community members. Coffee with a Cop provides opportunities to connect with the community we serve, and discuss neighborhood livability concerns, career opportunities, public safety, and more. Thank you, Bethany Starbucks and Cornelius Starbucks, for hosting these events and providing delicious coffee!  

National Family Caregivers Month

During National Family Caregivers Month this November, we recognize and honor the incredible family caregivers who comfort and tend to our loved ones, friends, and neighbors. From spouses, parents, children, and friends, no matter your relationship, thank you for who you are and all you do!


The Family Caregiver Support Program through Washington County Disability, Aging & Veteran Services is hosting workshops this month for family and friends caring for older adults in our community.  Don’t miss their upcoming Resource Fair for Family Caregivers on Saturday, November 12, 12:30-3:00 p.m. at the Beaverton City Library. Capitalize on this opportunity to learn more about local resources available for you and your family, including information about the Sheriff’s Office Elder Safe Program, Project Lifesaver, and Help Me Home. For more information about the Family Caregiver Support Program, contact 503-846-3060, or visit Caring for Family and Friends | Washington County, OR (


Resource Fair 

Saturday, November 12, 2022, from 12:30-3 p.m.

Beaverton City Library, Room A/B

12375 SW 5th Street

Beaverton, OR 97005


Register here

Partnership Supports Protecting

County Health and Safety

Due to many complex factors, including the COVID-19 pandemic, our community has experienced a significant increase in unsanctioned camping on public property. In response, the Board of County Commissioners approved an Encampment Management Program to support the health and safety needs of both housed and unhoused community members. As we continue to address this crisis Washington County works closely with city and community partners to address the urgent needs of individuals experiencing homelessness.

The Encampment Management Program (EMP) and the Sheriff's Office Houseless Outreach Programs and Engagement (HOPE) work to connect the unhoused community with available resources, conduct health and safety risk assessments, and engage with all community members to improve livability. This cross-departmental partnership leverages the expertise of the Department of Health and Human Services, Housing Services Department, County Counsel, County Administrative Office, and the Sheriff’s Office to offer much-needed services.

Under the County's organizational framework, the EMP provides a coordinated, focused response to the needs of individuals living temporarily in encampments on publicly-owned property and community members impacted by encampments. EMP uses the following strategies:   

  • Managing the overall operational response, including strategic communication between participating allied agencies and the general public.  
  • Coordinating with outreach providers to connect campers with supportive services and housing navigation assistance funded by the regional Supportive Housing Services measure.  
  • Routine, scored assessments of health and safety risks at each location that determine whether an encampment may temporarily remain in place or requires temporary closure and clean-up. 
  • Emergency sanitation support, including portable toilets, handwashing stations, and regular garbage collection. 
  • A dedicated Sheriff's Office outreach deputy working directly with neighbors and camp occupants to problem-solve issues, address public safety concerns, and coordinate with other law enforcement f partners and service providers.  

Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Al Roque shares, "WCSO HOPE deputies respond to many calls for service involving houselessness that may not always require law enforcement action. This dedicated team actively engages the community and builds relationships – to help create opportunities for problem-solving and de-escalation. HOPE deputies work directly with EMP to connect community members with essential help and resources to improve the safety and livability of our community".

Health & Human Services Solid Waste & Recycling Manager, Thomas Egleston reflected on the last year and a half of the program, sharing, “We saw a tremendous community need for a program to address health and safety risks in and around encampments. As One Washington County, we brought multiple departments together to stand up a program that is both compassionate and trauma-informed, with the goal of reducing the impact of health and safety risks associated with unsheltered homelessness.”

Learn more about Jeff, a long-time camper, who recently made the transition into permanent, affordable housing. These success stories take time, but they are happening every day, as we continue to address the regional homelessness crisis.


To report concerns related to an encampment, such as trash/garbage, fire hazards, biohazards/hygiene needs, drugs/alcohol, or crimes, complete the EMP's online form .

If you are at risk or are currently experiencing homelessness, or to help someone in need, contact Community Connect at 503-640-3263.

A rewarding career with great pay + benefits and the chance to serve your community is waiting for you!

Ever thought about a career at the Washington County Jail? We are now accepting applications for Jail Service Technicians (JST).

JST's are vital to keeping our complex jail operations running smoothly. They work alongside uniformed deputies and provide various administrative jail services related to booking, evaluation, risk assessment, and custody support functions.


Visit Washington County Jobs for more information and to apply. 

Sheriff's Office Deputies

The Sheriff's Office is hiring Patrol and Jail Deputies!
If you or someone you know might be interested in making an impact in Washington County through a career in law enforcement, check out our available positions! Visit for information on requirements, testing, the application process, and more.
Some essential skills needed to serve the community in a law enforcement position include de-escalation, unconscious bias, excellent communication, community policing, and equitable approaches.
If you have additional questions, please contact our Recruitment Team or call (503) 846-6369.
Visit to learn more!
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