This past Tuesday, Nov. 7, Florence Police took a report of a stolen vehicle from the Harbor and First streets area.
A witness had observed an unidentified male and female driving a U-Haul pickup in the area during the time of the vehicle theft. In a separate call made to Lane County Sheriffs the next day, a report was given of a vehicle being broken into in the Mapleton area, with a purse being stolen.
In that instance, a witness observed a female and a U-Haul pickup in the area closely matching the description from the Florence-area incident.
At 9 p.m. that evening, the Florence Police Department was advised that a white U-Haul pickup was in the parking lot of Fred Meyer. After arriving on scene, officers conducted an investigation that led to the discovery of evidence from the two prior incidents, along with evidence of other possible crimes.
Zachariah Wells, 39, and Laura Wells, 40, were arrested in connection with both the stolen vehicle and purse.
The stolen vehicle was recovered in a separate location. The Wells, both Florence-area transients, have been lodged in the Florence City jail and will be transported to Lane County Jail.
Currently, Zachariah Wells has been charged with Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle, Criminal Mischief I, Theft I, Unlawful Entry into a Motor Vehicle, Criminal Mischief II and Theft III.
Charges against Laura Wells include Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle, Criminal Mischief I, Theft I, Unauthorized Possession of a Controlled Substance II, Unlawful Entry into a Motor Vehicle, Criminal Mischief II and Theft III.
An investigation into other possible crimes is ongoing.
On Sunday afternoon, a Florence resident reportedly had her wallet stolen while shopping in Fred Meyer, although police say a connection with the Wells’ has not been determined at this time.