A Sisters man was arrested Tuesday, accused in the theft of some $225,000 of construction and heavy equipment from the Portland and Vancouver, Wash., areas. Police are trying to reunite some of that equipment with their owners.
Central Oregon Drug Enforcement (CODE) said that its investigation led to a search warrant on the home of Paul Weston, 46, in the 16700 block of Peterson Ridge Rd. Weston was contacted during a traffic stop Tuesday night.
“The initial investigation alleges Mr. Weston stole dump trailers, a car trailer, side-by-side ATVs, a skid steer loader, a bucket loader, and a tractor from various locations around the Portland and Vancouver area over a 2-month period,” CODE said. “Weston then brought the stolen property to his home on Peterson Ridge Road, where he obliterated serial numbers and painted the equipment to disguise them. It appears that he was later selling or renting the equipment for profit.
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CODE said detectives, with the help of the construction equipment manufacturers, were able to find secondary identifying information and matched the equipment with the victims of the thefts.
Detectives are still trying to match three dump trailers and skid steer loader to the victims. Detectives believe these unclaimed items were stolen in the Portland metro area within the last two months.
Anyone with information on the unclaimed items, or who has recently purchased anything from Weston, is asked to contact Detective Jeff Pope at 541-388-6655. Reference case number 22-69589.
CODE said detectives also gathered and seized a commercial quantity of fake pharmaceutical tablets made of fentanyl during the bust. Weston was previously was arrested in November for allegedly trafficking methamphetamine and fentanyl, CODE said.
Weston was booked in the Deschutes County Jail on the following charges:
- Aggravated Theft I
- Possession of Stolen Vehicle X4
- Trafficking in Vehicles with Destroyed or Altered Identification Numbers x7
- Unlawful Use of a Motor Vehicle x4
- Unlawful Possession of a Schedule II Controlled Substance (Fentanyl)