PRINEVILLE, Ore. - In the three weeks since burglars stole a red Hummer, two ATVs and numerous other items from a Prineville ranch, authorities have conducted raids, recovered stolen items and arrested four Prineville residents, three at a Wheeler County ranch during another burglary in progress, Crook County sheriff's deputies said Friday.
Deputies responded on Jan. 10 to the Quail Valley Ranch at 9199 SW Crooked River Hwy. in Prineville to investigate a burglary and theft of vehicles, called in by the ranch manager, Kurt Lockhart, said sheriff's Sgt. Jim Chapman.
The sheriff's deputies learned a red 2000 Hummer, two Polaris ATVs, a car trailer and "an extensive amount of personal property" had been stolen, Chapman said. The indoor arena and show barn also had been broken into, and the suspects tried to remove horse tack and other items, he said.
The next day, Jefferson County sheriff's deputies recovered the stolen Hummer, parked at the Metolius Middle School, Chapman said.
On Jan. 20, Wheeler County sheriff's deputies investigating a burglary in progress at the Bear Creek Ranch arrested three suspects at the scene – Lucas Bechtel, 32, Kenneth Kime, 30, and Cheyenne Adams, 20, all of Prineville, Chapman said.
Three days later, Crook County sheriff's deputies served three search warrants on the DNA for the three suspects at the NORCOR Adult Correctional Facility in The Dalles, where they were being held. The fourth was served on Bechtel's truck, being held by Wheeler County sheriff's deputies, Chapman said.
On Jan. 24, Crook County sheriff's deputies and Prineville police served a fifth search warrant at Bechtel's Prineville home, at 797 NE Sixth St., Chapman said.
During that raid, deputies recovered more items stolen from the Prineville ranch and arrested a fourth suspect, Chelsea Casteel, 29, of Prineville.
Bechtel, Kime and Casteel are being held at the Crook County Jail on several counts of burglary, theft, car theft and criminal mischief.
Anyone with information on these or other recent burglaries are asked to contact the Crook County Sheriff's Office at (541) 447-6398, Chapman said.