Theft suspect wanted for violating terms of release

Joshua B. Christoffersen, 40, was briefly held in Malheur County Jail for unlawful entry into a motor vehicle and possession of methamphetamines. (Photo courtesy of Malheur County Sheriff’s Office)

The suspect of a botched burglary near Harper who led police on a manhunt over the New Year holiday is wanted for violating the terms of his release earlier this month and failing to appear in court for arraignment Tuesday.  

Joshua B. Christoffersen, 40, of Caldwell, was released on Jan. 2 without posting bail and ordered to report daily to the Malheur County Community Corrections office until his arraignment, scheduled for Tuesday in Malheur County Circuit Court. 

Court records show the last day he reported was Jan. 8. 

Christoffersen was arrested on New Year’s Day following a manhunt involving deputies from Malheur and Harney counties and Oregon State Police. Deputies found him holed up in a shack on the premises of EP Minerals, a mining compound about 70 miles west of Vale. 

A day after he was captured, Christoffersen was released, triggering outrage on social media and questioning of prosecutors. Malheur County District Attorney Dave Goldthorpe later explained that a prosecutor stepping in to handle the case didn’t have information to share with the judge about circumstances of Christoffersen’s arrest.

Christoffersen was then indicted on 11 criminal charges on Jan. 10. 

He’s being charged with first-degree aggravated theft, first-degree theft, two counts of unauthorized use of a vehicle, three counts of second-degree burglary, and felon in possession of a fiream. All are felonies.

He’s also charged with two misdemeanors: unlawful possession of methamphetamine and two counts of second-degree criminal mischief. 

Christoffersen has a criminal history in Idaho dating back to 2001. According to the Idaho Department of Correction, he was placed on probation in Canyon County that year for possession of a controlled substance. 

In 2005 he was convicted for possession of a controlled substance, eluding a police officer and illegal possession of a weapon. He was sentenced to Idaho state prison, serving from Nov. 30, 2005, until July 14, 2008, when he was released on parole, Idaho officials said. Christoffersen completed parole in 2012.

Read our prior coverage:

An interrupted theft, gunshots, and a wild chase is on in Malheur County

Theft suspect, hard to catch, was released without bail

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