An Ontario, Oregon man is in the Malheur County Jail after investigators say they recovered over $80,000 of stolen property in a house where he was living.
Malheur County Sheriff Brian Wolfe said, for over the past six weeks, his detectives have been investigating a series of burglaries at the Cairo Storage Unit and at several unidentified rural residences.
Cairo managers were able to provide investigators a surveillance video showing what authorities believe is the vehicle a suspect used in the storage unit burglaries. “That video really helped us in identifying the suspect,” Wolfe said.
Investigators said they identified the suspect on Wednesday and conducted a surveillance of his home in the 1900 block of Brady Court in Ontario.
The suspect was reportedly seen leaving the house in the suspected stolen vehicle. Deputies stopped the vehicle and arrested Mario Rojas, 30, of Ontario. He was charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.
Early Thursday morning, investigators searched the house and reportedly recovered between $80,000 and $100,000 worth of stolen property. “Some of the stolen items recovered included two vehicles, ATVs, motorcycles, guns, a gun safe, power tools, hand tools, and (miscellaneous) shop equipment,” said Wolfe.
The Sheriff said Cassandra Goodman, 32, from Ontario, was also living in the house. Charges are pending against her.
“This was a significant case, given the value of all the stolen property,” Wolfe said. “We’re still investigating to see if anyone else is connected.”
Wolfe said all the stolen items will be returned to the owners.
A number of law enforcement agencies took part in the investigation, including the High Desert Narcotics and Stolen Property Task Force, the Ontario Police Department, the Payette Police Department and the Oregon State Police, Wolfe said.