Fuel theft investigation results in three arrests

An investigation into fuel thefts from farm equipment yielded multiple criminal charges Thursday including a game violation and drug possession.

According to Undersheriff James Savage, the Crook County Sheriff’s Office launched an investigation into a string of fuel thefts north of Prineville on Oct. 12. Diesel fuel was reportedly being stolen from farm equipment left unattended.

The investigation led deputies to a Vista View Road address in Northwest Prineville. There they arrested 23-year-old Prineville man Daniel Wade Seaton, charging him with second degree theft, second degree criminal trespass and third degree criminal mischief. Seaton was also arrested for an outstanding Crook County warrant.

In addition to the theft crimes, Seaton was found in possession of a dead mule deer doe and was consequently cited by the Oregon State Police for a game violation.

The investigation also led to a second suspect, authorities said, as 38-year-old Timothy Neal Evans, who lives at the same Vista View address, was connected with the thefts. Evans had fled the scene before deputies had arrived.

This past Thursday, Crook County deputies assisted by Oregon State Police, Prineville Police Department, Redmond Police Department, Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office and Central Oregon Drug Enforcement task force (CODE) executed a search warrant at the same Vista View residence, looking for evidence of fuel theft.

Authorities contacted Evans as well as 37-year-old Judith Carter and 33-year-old Taylor Hurt, both of Prineville. Evans and Carter were arrested while further evidence of fuel theft was located and user amounts of methamphetamine and heroin were seized.

Evans was charged with second degree theft, second degree criminal trespass, third degree criminal mischief and possession of methamphetamine. He was also arrested on an outstanding Crook County warrant.

Carter was charged with possession of heroin while Hurt was not arrested for a crime or charged. Seaton and Carter were both lodged in Crook County Jail, but later released due to lack of jail space. Evans remains in custody in Crook County Jail.