Prineville man arrested in heavy equipment thefts

Owners of two trailers sought by deputies

PRINEVILLE, Ore. - A 61-year-old Prineville man has been arrested in the theft of a dump trailer stolen from a Prineville business and an excavator stolen from a Redmond business, while authorities seek the owners of two other recovered, apparently stolen trailers, Crook County sheriff’s deputies said Thursday.

Prineville police were called Monday to investigate the theft of a 17-foot black dump trailer from a business parking lot off Southwest High Desert Drive the previous afternoon, said sheriff’s Sgt. Ryan Seaney. Later Monday afternoon, a citizen tip led Prineville police and Crook County deputies to an address in the 2800 block of Northwest Grimes Road, where the stolen trailer was found in the driveway, Seaney said.

Investigators who went to the Grimes Road address spotted two other trailers on the property, a dual-axle high-walled cargo trailer and a dual-axle flatbed trailer.

“These trailers were not found at that time to have been reported as stolen, but appeared out of place,” Seaney said in a news release.

Investigators also found a new Caterpillar brand excavator on the property.

The reported stolen trailer was returned to its owner.

Later Monday, Mark Collins was taken into custody for theft of the recovered trailer, the sergeant said. The excavator and dump trailer were seized with the belief they were stolen property.

The next day, sheriff’s deputies contacted Peterson CAT in Redmond and confirmed the tractor had been stolen from their lot around Aug. 1, Seaney said.

Collins was arrested Tuesday and transferred to the Deschutes County Jail on charges related to the excavator theft. Seaney said Collins was arraigned on Wednesday and released later that day, pending a future court date.

Crook County sheriff’s deputies, assisted by Prineville police, executed a search warrant on Thursday at Collins’ home northwest of Prineville, where Seaney said investigators collected evidence related to the case.

The sheriff’s office is still trying to determine the owners of the two trailers seized from the Grimes Road address. The sheriff’s office can be reached at 541-447-6398.

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