Seth Thayres, in red, pictured while volunteering with cadets in Gulfport, Fla. The former Salem Police Department officer was arrested Tuesday by U.S. Marshals in nearby Clearwater, Fla. (Courtesy of Seth Thayres)
Former Salem cop-turned-fugitive Seth Thayres is back in jail, the U.S. Marshals said Tuesday.
Marshals found Thayres, 31, outside a hotel in Clearwater, Florida, where he was arrested. He was booked into Pinellas County Jail by 5 p.m.
Thayres, a patrolman with the Salem Police Department for four years until his off-duty arrest and resignation, has warrants for his arrest in both Multnomah and Clackamas counties.
According to Eric Wahlstrom, supervisory deputy marshal in Oregon, Thayres had been staying in multiple hotels in Florida. Thayres grew up and started his law enforcement career in Florida.
Wahlstrom said Thayres is likely going to court Wednesday in Pinellas County to face outstanding warrants in Multnomah and Clackamas counties. He will likely be extradited back to Oregon, Wahlstrom said.
“I’m not sure how long that’s going to take,” he said.
Jail and extradition would be the latest chapters in Thayres' journey to the other side of the law.
Salem police placed Thayres on administrative leave Oct. 9, 2018 over workplace issues the city has declined to disclose.
Thayres told Salem Reporter he had started acting out at work, which he attributed to the emergence of post-traumatic stress disorder and bipolar disorder, triggered by a 2017 confrontation with an armed robber.
While on leave, he was arrested Feb. 7 at a Portland hotel in connection to a rash of burglaries. He was charged with two counts of first-degree theft and methamphetamine possession.
He resigned from Salem police Feb. 11.
In March, Multnomah and Clackamas counties leveled a combined 18 additional charges against Thayres, including first-degree theft, computer crime and second-degree burglary.
Thayres told Salem Reporter he first learned of the Multnomah County charges while he was jailed in Clackamas County after pleading guilty to theft. He spent 16 days in jail, according to the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office.
He was transferred to Multnomah County on March 29. Thayres said that’s when he first learned of the 15 additional charges he faced there, and he soon decided to flee. He has not been sentenced in Multnomah County and did not report to probation in Clackamas County.
“I legitimately don’t understand what they’re talking about with these 14 other charges,” he told Salem Reporter last month in a phone interview. “That pushed me over the edge.”
He said he planned to stay out of the state until his co-defendant in those criminal charges somehow demonstrated that Thayres was innocent.
“I would expect him to say ‘Hey, he had nothing to do with these things,’” Thayres said April 18. “I’ll be keeping an eye on it.”
Thayres’ co-defendant, James Cardenas, has also seen his charges rise. Court records show he was charged with eight charges stemming from the Feb. 7 arrest in a Portland hotel. Multnomah County has since added 30 more charges of theft and burglary.
Have a tip? Contact reporter Troy Brynelson at 503-575-9930, [email protected] or @TroyWB.