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Four arrests made in connection with January burglary
Three were arrested in Wheeler County, which led to the arrest of the fourth suspect here in Prineville
February 04, 2013
Crook County deputies have made four arrests in connection with a large-scale burglary involving multiple vehicles and more suspects could follow as the investigation continues.
The incident originated on Jan. 10, when the Crook County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a burglary at Quail Valley Ranch in Prineville. Deputies discovered during a subsequent investigation that a red 2000 Hummer, along with two Polaris ATVs, a car trailer, and an extensive amount of personal property had been stolen from the residence. The investigation also revealed that the indoor arena and show barn had been broken into and the suspects attempted to remove horse tack and other items.
“It’s tough to imagine that somebody thought that they could take this many items and then drive down the road and not be detected,” said Crook County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Jim Chapman.
The next day, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office recovered the stolen Hummer in Metolius, Ore., parked at the Metolius Middle School. Then, on Jan. 20, the Wheeler County Sheriff’s Office investigated a burglary in progress at Bear Creek Ranch. They arrested Prineville residents Lucas Bechtel, 32, Kenneth Kime, 30, and Cheyenne Adams, 20, at the scene, and also recovered two Polaris four-wheelers used by the suspects that turned out to be the stolen vehicles from Quail Valley Ranch.
Three days after the arrest, on Jan. 23, the Crook County Sheriff’s Office served four search warrants for the suspects’ property as well as their DNA at the NORCOR Adult Correctional Facility in the Dalles, Ore., where they were being held on the Wheeler County charges. The fourth search warrant was served on a truck belonging to Bechtel, which was being held by the Wheeler County Sheriff's Office.
On Jan. 24, the Crook County Sheriff's Office along with the Prineville Police Department served a fifth search warrant on a Northeast Sixth Street home where Bechtel resides. During that search, deputies recovered more stolen items from the Quail Valley Ranch burglary and arrested Chelsea Casteel, age 29 of Prineville.
“She was developed as another suspect,” Chapman said. “We knew that was the residence that Mr. Bechtel put on his booking sheet, and we knew from prior contacts that that was where he was living.”
Bechtel, Kime, and Casteel are now in custody in Crook County and are charged with one count each for Burglary in the First Degree, two counts each for Burglary in the Second Degree, three counts each for Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle, Criminal Mischief in the First Degree, and three counts each for Theft in the First Degree.
Burglaries of this magnitude have happened in Crook County, Chapman said, but they do not happen very often.
“When they do, we try to get on them as fast as we can and get ahead of them,” he added.
Chapman could not say for sure what penalties the suspects might face, but he stated that all of the charges except the Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle are felonies. Furthermore, each suspect has an extensive criminal history, particularly Kime and Bechtel who have served time in prison and were currently on post-prison supervision.