Around Oregon, Business & economy

Thieves break into remote worksite east of Juntura, reward offered for tips

JUNTURA – Sometime over the Labor Day weekend, thieves put in some long hours at a remote construction job site east of Juntura.

They cut out 2-inch copper cables connecting a commercial truck trailer to an asphalt plant. They loaded up tools.

And then they set fires, one in the trailer used as a control center and one in a service truck.

Oregon State Police are looking for help finding the thieves and High Desert Aggregate and Paving, based in Terrebonne, is offering a $7,500 reward for information that leads to an arrest.

Mike Moore, president of High Desert, said a worker discovered the damage and theft on Monday of Labor Day weekend.

The company was close to finishing a $10 million project for the Oregon Department of Transportation to resurface and do repairs on U.S. 20 along a 47-mile stretch going west from Harper.

Moore said the theft occurred at a spot about six miles east of Juntura, where High Desert had been operating an asphalt plant. He said the plant had been dismantled the week before the thefts and was ready to move.

The fire was still smoldering in the control trailer when the worker arrived, Moore said. The worker dipped water out of the Malheur River to put out the fire.

Moore said the thieves worked over two nights to make away with an estimated $80,000 worth of material and tools. He said they used the company’s own forklift to load the heavy copper cabling.

State police are asking anyone with information to call dispatch at 1-800-442-2068 and refer to case SP22238604.

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