It all began when Prineville Police Officers were dispatched to investigate the theft of a 17 foot black dump trailer from a business parking lot off of SW High Desert Drive in Prineville. The theft was determined to have occurred the previous afternoon. Later in the afternoon a citizen tip led police officers and Crook County Sheriff’s deputies to a farm at 2858 NW Grimes Road, where the stolen trailer was found in the driveway.
Investigators responded to the scene and observed two other trailers on the property. One of the trailers is a dual axle high walled cargo trailer, and the other is a dual axle flatbed trailer. These trailers were not found at that time to have been reported as stolen, but appeared out of place. In addition to this, a brand new Caterpillar excavator was found on the property. The reported stolen trailer was returned to its owner.
Later that day Mark Collins, 61, of Prineville, was taken into custody for theft of the recovered trailer. The excavator and dump trailer were seized under the belief that they were stolen property. Crook County Sheriff’s Deputies made contact with Peterson CAT in Redmond and confirmed that the excavator had been stolen from their lot around the first of the month.
Collins was arrested by sheriff’s deputies and transferred to the Deschutes County Jail on charges related to the theft of the excavator from Peterson CAT. He was arraigned in court and later released. He was also given a date to show back up in court to face the charges against him.
A search warrant was executed by CCSO, with assistance from Prineville Police, at Collins’ residence northwest of Prineville where investigators collected more evidence related to the case.
CCSO is also still trying to determine the owners of the two trailers seized at the NW Grimes Road address. The Crook County Sheriff’s Office can be reached at 541-447-6398.