(Update: adding video, new details, comments from victim)
Mike Bedford says thieves were caught on his security cameras
CROOKED RIVER RANCH, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Mike Bedford left work early back on Feb. 9 to make sure he was home in time for the delivery of his brand-new telescope. He was worried it might get stolen, if he showed up too late.
When he arrived home, the telescope was indeed sitting on his doorstep, but something didn't feel right -- that's because his brand-new camp trailer was gone.
"It was one of those things where you do a double-take," Bedford told NewsChannel 21 Friday afternoon. "The first second, you're not actually sure what's missing, but you know something is wrong."
Bedford had just bought the 2020 Rockwood 1640 ESP for $16,000 as a surprise for his wife.
"It's got a lot of sentimental value, to both me and her," he said. "Especially the way things are going nowadays, it was money that we maybe couldn't afford, barely afford. It was a step out. To have that taken away, that's pretty brutal."
Fortunately, Bedford has security cameras that cover the front of his house. They appear to show the thieves who are responsible.
First, two people scoped out his house, with a clear view of their license plate. Then, after 22 minutes pass, they return -- with the license plate on their vehicle gone -- and leave with the trailer.
"To me, that was just bizarre beyond belief," Bedford said.
A few days later, things got even more bizarre.
Bedford said he was driving through downtown Redmond on Feb. 12, during his lunch break, when the same car he saw on camera pulled up next to him.
He ended up following the vehicle, even blocking it in at one point, but Redmond police told him to ease up. So that’s what he did.
"If hot blood had ruled that day, it could've ended a little bit differently,” Bedford said. “Which is a very sobering thought."
Bedford said he was more upset at the fact someone had trespassed onto his property than he was about losing the trailer.
That's why he hopes the people caught on camera will be brought to justice.
"This wasn't someone trying to feed their family,” Bedford said. “It was someone trying to line their pocket. So, yeah, I would like to see them prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
Bedford said the trailer is insured, but he imagines he'll still take a financial hit from the deductible and depreciation on the trailer.
This experience has opened Bedford's eyes to new security measures he will take in the future.
"Probably a chain through the wheels and across the axle, with either logging chain or heavy cable. Make them work for it," Bedford said. "Anything we get in the future, we'll have a GPS tracker on it. There's monthly fees involved, but nothing like losing the amount of money that we lost off of this theft."
Bedford said he filed reports with the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office and Redmond Police Department. Both agencies told NewsChannel 21 Friday the investigation is ongoing, but neither would offer any updates.