NEMAH — The would-be Bonnie and Clyde who allegedly robbed a Nemah couple at gunpoint after riddling their home with bullet holes on Saturday morning quickly got out of town, but they couldn’t get away from social media.
Police officers arrested Joshua Andrew Turner, 26, of Naselle, near Bandon, Ore. at about 8 p.m. on March 6. Coos County sheriff’s deputies picked up his girlfriend, Sincer-a Marie Nerton, 19, of Naselle, near Coquille, Ore. on the morning of March 7. She was arrested shortly after she asked for a ride in a Coos County Facebook group with almost 28,000 local members.
The primary victim was Nerton’s grandmother, who lives in the 5300 block of Highway 101 near Nemah. The 52-year-old woman told deputies her granddaughter and Turner had “crazy eyes” during the robbery, and made her fear for her life.
The woman and her girlfriend, 25, were sleeping when the sound of gunfire woke them up between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. on March 3. Shortly after, Nerton and Turner allegedly burst into their bedroom, “armed with several firearms,” and “fired two shots into the ceiling,” according to a probable cause statement. Turner allegedly ordered the women not to move, telling them that “if they did, he would shoot them.”
Nerton allegedly held the couple at gunpoint while Turner went into another bedroom where a male guest was sleeping. Turner allegedly pointed a shotgun at the man and ordered him into the women’s bedroom. Nerton reportedly handcuffed the women together. The man was not handcuffed, but told deputies he was held at gunpoint.
Fueled by meth
The victims estimated Nerton and Turner spent 60 to 90 minutes carrying items from the home to their hatchback car, including $2,320 in cash, a prepaid debit card worth $240, an SKS rifle, a Remington .22 rifle, jewelry and all three victims’ cell phones.
While robbing the home, Nerton and Turner allegedly “took turns smoking methamphetamine.” The grandmother said she had observed track marks — small puncture wounds caused by injecting IV drugs — “all over” her granddaughter’s arms.
According to the report, Nerton lived with her grandmother on and off for about 12 years. Most recently, she and Turner stayed in the Nemah home for about a month, but her grandmother kicked them out about two weeks before the robbery occurred. That may have been a factor — Nerton allegedly repeatedly told her grandmother she was “dead to [her]” during the robbery.
When they were done emptying the home of valuables, the couple allegedly threatened to kill the three victims if they called the police. As the couple drove away, the 25-year-old woman was able to write down the license plate number on their car. The older woman went to a neighbor’s home, where she called for help at 6:14 a.m.
When deputies arrived about 45 minutes later, they reportedly found 14 rifle casings from an AK-47 outside the home. There were several bullet holes in the house’s French doors. Inside the bedroom, investigators found casings from a .308 rifle, a 30-06 rifle, two shotguns, and a .22-caliber gun. They found bullet holes in the wall just above the women’s bed.
Deputies learned the license plate on the couple’s hatchback was registered to a pickup belonging to Turner. They searched for Nerton and Turner in Nemah and Naselle, before learning that the pair had likely gone to Coos County where, they believe, Nerton has a relative.
The sheriff’s office sent out a “Be on the lookout”, or “BOLO” advisory to other law enforcement agencies around the Northwest. Investigators also contacted authorities in Coos County, who began following leads there.
On Monday, Pacific County Prosecutor Mark McClain sought warrants for Nerton and Turner on suspicion of first-degree robbery, first-degree kidnapping, theft of a firearm and second-degree theft. A judge granted $500,000 warrants for each.
Busted in Bandon
Despite the alleged influx of cash, the couple seemed to run out of luck in Coos County. Joshua Turner’s brief flight from the law ended as he walked along Seven Devils Road around 8 p.m. on March 6. He was arrested after Officer Jordan Waddington of the Bandon Police Department stopped to check on Turner, ran his name through the local dispatch center, and learned that he had a warrant.
Chief Bob Webb said Turner’s arrest was a lucky coincidence — his department didn’t actually see the BOLO alert until after he was in custody.
“We had no prior knowledge that he was wanted or in our area or anything,” Webb said. “It was a shock to us too.”
Webb’s department also found the car the couple allegedly used in the robbery. They secured a warrant to search the car for evidence, Webb said.
Caught in Coquille
The following morning, Nerton posted a plea for help in the Coosville Buy and Sell Facebook group.
“I’m stuck without a vehicle in Coquille and my bf has been stranded out behind the Bandon dunes bc our car died on him,” she wrote. “He’s been stranded almost two days now and I need to get to him.” She asked for a ride to Bandon and a jump for the car.
“This is my last resort,” she said.
“We received a call at about 9:28 a.m. from a person who said ‘I just saw her,’” Capt. Kelly Andrews of the Coos County Sheriff’s Office said. Bandon police and a local tribal law enforcement agency also noticed the post and got in touch.
Deputies picked her up on Rink Creek Road, in a rural area south of Coquille. She did not appear to have any of the loot from the robbery with her, Andrews said, but deputies did recover a .22 rifle from the home where she had been staying.
As of Thursday afternoon, Nerton and Turner remained in the Coos County Jail.