Photo: Salem SWAT officers descends into ventilation shaft.
Salem Police were called to the Salem District Office of the Bureau of Land Management located in the 1700 block of Fabry Rd SE, because of an alarm.
Arriving officers saw a person on the roof and quickly surrounded the location. Eventually, BLM employees arrived and let officers into the building.
Once inside the building, more resources were needed to safely clear the building and locate the suspect due to the building’s size and complexity. Salem Police SWAT was called away from a scheduled training day to provide search support. Additionally, two Salem Police K-9 officers were also called to assist.
While searching the building, a police K-9 alerted to a HVAC access room. SWAT officers entered the room and spotted the suspect, Charles McWilliams age 54 of Salem, hiding approximately 15 feet down a ventilation access shaft. With assistance, McWilliams was able to climb out of the access shaft and was taken into custody. He was transported to the Salem Police Department to be interviewed by detectives.
With the help of the Salem Fire Department Heavy Rescue Team, officers were lowered into the access shaft to look for evidence and ensure McWilliams did not have an accomplice hiding in the area.
The investigation was coordinated with BLM officials.
McWilliams was booked into the Marion County Correctional Facility for Burglary II.