SALEM, Ore. -- At his Tuesday afternoon court appearance, William Alva Riley didn't explain exactly what he was doing the morning of his alleged crime spree.
Whatever it was put him fully clothed and wearing a parka, sitting in someone's hot tub.
The bizarre case started when Marion County Sheriff’s investigators believe Riley crashed a U-Haul truck not far from the crime scenes in the 7200 block of Silverton Road.
Riley was discovered in the hot tub after he'd apparently turned off one home's electricity and the homeowner came outside to investigate. Deputies said Riley ran to hide in another neighbor's pickup truck.
Looking over his property near Salem, Jim Roth believes the man suspected in the early Monday morning crime spree along his road also got into his stuff.
“I've got a couple of fuel tanks over here and he had tampered with those," he said.
Roth also found stolen packages of frozen sausage and elk meat. “He was maybe trying to warm some frozen food up," he said. "And then he brought it with him over here apparently.”
Jim Roth said no one knew at first that Riley had gotten his hands on a machete.
“My neighbor there also had a machete that was missing,” Roth says, “And they noticed that after they arrested him. The machete was in the pickup that they actually found him in.”
Roth said evidence was found everywhere, “So he had been evidently going back-and-forth between two or three different places during the course of the night and, you know, doing who knows what.”
Out front at another nearby home, there was a torched lawn mower, a burned wall and smoke damage. The residents had been on vacation and came home to find their house damaged.
Jim Roth is simply glad Riley was arrested. “It could have been a lot worse," he said. "He did find the machete and, you know, you never know what's gonna happen with these guys.”
Even after his arrest, deputies said Riley wasn't done doing damage. After deputies put Riley in the back of a patrol car, they said Riley put his feet up against the roof of the car and pushed it up, causing more than $1,000 worth of damage.