On August 6, 2019, the Morrow County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a theft that occurred near Pole Line Road and Homestead Lane outside Boardman, Oregon. The reporting business, Barton Laser Leveling Inc., reported a RTK radio with receiver and a John Deere 2630 display was stolen from a John Deere tractor. Morrow County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Taylor Wasserman responded to the location, took the report and started an investigation. The reporting party advised the cost of the theft was approximately $20,000.00.
On August 28, 2019, Deputy Wasserman’s investigation led him to contact an individual(s) in Fairview, Illinois. Deputy Wasserman found the stolen item was sold on EBay by Chalen James Ottmar (24) of Hermiston. By working with the individual(s) in Illinois and the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office, Deputy Wasserman was able to get the stolen property returned to Oregon. The property was later returned to the owner. After following leads and gathering additional evidence, Deputy Wasserman was able to secure a search warrant for the residence of Ottmar located at 19 Westview Drive in Hermiston, Oregon.
On October 1, 2019, members of the Morrow County Sheriff’s Office and Hermiston Police Department served the search warrant at 19 Westview Drive in Hermiston. Following the search warrant, many stolen items were recovered. The recovered property involved crimes in Morrow and Umatilla County. Due to the search warrant, approximately nine cases from agencies including Morrow County Sheriff’s Office, Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office, Hermiston Police Department, Oregon State Police and US Fish and Wildlife were successfully solved.
At the location, Chalen James Ottmar (24) of Hermiston, was arrested and charged with multiple crimes. Ottmar was transported and lodged at the Umatilla County Jail in Pendleton on the charges of:
Aggravated Theft I x 2, bail $40,000.00
Unauthorized Entry into a Motor Vehicle x 2, bail $12,000.00
Criminal Trespass II x 2, bail $2,000.00
Total Bail $54,000.00
Additional charges are pending, following further investigation.
The completion of this case was a result of diligent police work and various law enforcement agencies working together. Morrow County Sheriff Kenneth W. Matlack would like to thank Fulton County (Illinois) Sheriff’s Office, Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office, Hermiston Police Department, Oregon State Police and US Fish and Wildlife for their assistance on this case.