Rural property searches spur man's arrest for alleged theft

A Rogue River area man is being held in jail on suspicion of stealing more than $90,000 in construction equipment and supplies, including an excavator, construction site trailer, home cabinets and counter tops, authorities said.

Frank Morgan Wheeler, 43, of the 12700 block of East Evans Creek Road, was arrested Feb. 6 and lodged in the Jackson County Jail without bail on two counts of first-degree theft, first-degree aggravated theft, being a felon in possession of body armor, possession of methamphetamine and two counts of contempt for violating a restraining order.

Oregon State Police executed a search warrant Feb. 6 at Wheeler's property and another in the 1400 block of West Evans Creek Road, according to an OSP news release.

Police found about $10,000 worth of stolen property at the West Evans Creek Road address and about $80,000 worth of stolen property at Wheeler's home, the news release said.

The property on West Evans Creek Road belongs to a Corvallis-based living trust, property records show.

In addition to the excavator, construction site trailer, home cabinets and counter tops, police recovered tools, a travel trailer, flatbed trailer, wiring, generators and a Polaris all-terrain vehicle, the news release said.

During the search, police also discovered a small amount of methamphetamine and a bulletproof vest, the news release said.

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