Man arrested after trying to torch his home

Beck’s rampage inside his home on Verda Lane included firing shots at a washing machine.

A Keizer man was arrested after allegedly menacing his wife, then blasting a washing machine and walls with various firearms and attempting to set fire to his own home.

About 1:20 p.m., on Thursday, April 23, Keizer police officers were summoned to a home in the 4700 block of Verda Lane N.E. A 9-1-1 caller reported that her husband was intoxicated, throwing items and punching the walls of the home. The man was armed with a handgun, she said. 

Responding officers were able to evacuate the man’s wife, but determined that no crime had occurred and left the scene without contacting the man. 

At approximately 10:45 p.m. the same day, officers received a call from the man saying he had unsuccessfully attempted to set fire to his home. 

An investigation, after the man was in custody, discovered that he had poured several gallons of gasoline in the home in his attempt to set the fire. Officers also discovered the man had multiple rounds from different firearms into the walls and at least one appliance. No one else, or their property, appeared to have been struck by the bullets that passed through the exterior of the home. 

R. Beck

Electricity to the house was turned off and a code enforcement officer responded to ensure the gasoline was not in danger of igniting. Detectives also discovered a suspected explosive device in the house and contacted members of the Salem police bomb squad who responded to render the device safe. 

Robert Lenard Beck, 62, was arrested and lodged at the Marion County Jail. He has been charged with attempt to commit a Class A felony and recklessly endangering another person. Beck’s bail was set at $250,000, but he is being held at the jail out of concern regarding his risk to the public.

Beck attempted to set fire to the home before calling police himself. Pictures courtesy of Keizer Police Dept.