Bend man arrested in Prineville vending machine thefts

A Bend man has been arrested following a string of Prineville soda vending machine break-ins, according to police.

On November 6th, Prineville Police began looking into money being stolen from three soda vending machines at three different locations around town. Damage to the machines totaled more than $4,000 and about $320 in cash was taken, Prineville Police Cpt. Larry Seymour said.

Prineville Police was able to capture images of a suspect’s vehicle, which appeared to be a mid-2000’s model red Ford Ranger.

Police released images to the public hoping they could help, and on November 7th, Prineville Police received a tip that the truck was spotted in Redmond. Information on the Ford Ranger was given to Bend Police and Redmond Police.

Just after 8 p.m. on November 8th, Redmond Police detectives spotted the Ford Ranger and began following it to Prineville. Crook County Sheriff’s deputies and Prineville Police were able to intercept the Ford Ranger, and and stopped it to further investigate the vending machine thefts, Seymour said.

The driver of the Ford Ranger was identified as 47-year-old Richard Lee Kroth of Bend. After questioning, Kroth was arrested and found in possession of about $505 in cash, $75 of which were $1 bills that are believed to be related to the crimes, Seymour said.

He was charged with second and third-degree theft and first and second-degree criminal mischief.

During the investigation, it was discovered Kroth had been driving under the influence, and was arrested for DUII. Seymour said Kroth was also in possession of cocaine and additionally charged for that offense.

Kroth’s bail was set at $57,500.

Any additional information about this case can be reported to the case agent, Officer Uppendahl at 541-447-4168.

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