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Bend man arrested in Prineville vending machine thefts

Richard Kroth
Crook County Jail
Richard Kroth

Photos posted on Facebook bring tip

PRINEVILLE, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Prineville police posted photos to Facebook after a thief broke into and stole money from soda vending machines at three locations around town. That led to a tip, pursuit, traffic stop and the arrest of a Bend man on DUII, theft and criminal mischief charges.

Last Wednesday, police began investigating vending machines being broken into and money stolen at three locations, including Wagner’s IGA, Officer Jordan Uppendahl said Tuesday. Damage was estimated at more than $4,000, along with about $320 in stolen cash.

Police were able to capture images of a suspect vehicle, which appeared to be a mid-2000s red Ford Ranger pickup. They were released to the public in an effort to locate a possible suspect.

Last Thursday afternoon, police got a tip that the suspect pickup had been spotted in Redmond, Uppendahl said. Information on the pickup was given to Bend and Redmond police.

Last Friday, shortly after 8 p.m., Redmond police spotted the Ford Ranger and began following it as the driver headed to Prineville. Crook County sheriff’s deputies and Prineville police intercepted the pickup and made a traffic stop in Prineville of the driver, identified as Richard Lee Kroth, 47.

Kroth was found to possess about $505 in cash, including 75 $1 bills believed to be related to the crimes, and.

After questioning, Kroth was arrested on charges of DUII, second- and third-degree theft, first- and second-degree criminal mischief and cocaine possession, Uppendahl said. He was arraigned Tuesday and remained held Tuesday on $57,500 bail. An early resolution conference is scheduled for Dec. 11, court records show.

The officer thanked citizens and Crook County sheriff's deputies for their assistance.

In early August, Kroth was arrested by Deschutes County sheriff’s deputies on DUII and other charges after slamming his van into a Highway 97 concrete divider so hard, it moved about 10 feet and shut two lanes for three hours of repairs. 

Article Topic Follows: Crime And Courts
vending machines

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Barney Lerten

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