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La Pine

La Pine businesses struggle after fourth year of Labor Day weekend break-ins, thefts

(Update: Adding video, comments from business owners)

Three businesses at Newberry Business Park tell of recent crimes; reward offered

LA PINE, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Two frustrated businesses In La Pine say they have been getting broken into every Labor Day holiday weekend for the past four years, and another neighboring business also was victimized recently.

Peak Performance and La Pine Outdoor Power are in the Newberry Business Park, off Finley Butte Road, and say they are tired of the constant break-ins their businesses are going through.

Shawn Hill, the owner of La Pine Outdoor Power, said Wednesday his business has been broken into multiple times over holiday weekends for the past few years.

Hill said he’s not the only business in the area with the problem.

Mark Sperling, owner of Peak Performance, said his business has experienced more than $40,000 in losses in the past 10 years, and he's considering whether he will continue to stay in business, if these break-ins continue.

Hill says three of his customers' vehicles were taken from his property over Labor Day weekend.

"This has been an ongoing and consistent problem for everyone in this park. I mean, we've had trailers stolen, vehicles stolen. There's been lots of types of different items missing," Hill said.

Scott Logging, a business next door to La Pine Outdoor Power, said it also experienced a break-in a few weeks ago. The owner told NewsChannel 21 he had about $12,000 worth of merchandise stolen. He also agreed that the break-ins seem to happen frequently to nearby businesses.

The recent burglaries have been the costliest for the businesses, with Hill saying his company also lost $12,000.

"This was definitely more thought out and more premeditated than the other times," Hill said.

Even with sand berms on the back side of the business, Hill said thieves still found a way to remove two ATVs and a buggy he had been repairing for customers.

"They had figured out this was the way they needed to come through,” Hill said as he pointed out a fence bordering his business. “They cut the fence and moved it open, and they rolled the vehicles from up front, through here and all the way to the railroad tracks, which is about 100 yards down that way."

Hill has filed a report with the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office and is working to replace his customers' items.

He is also offering a reward to anyone who has information on the break-ins that will lead to the rest of the alleged thieves.

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Leslie Cano

Leslie Cano is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Leslie here.



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