Stolen backhoe from Bend ends up found 250 miles away

By on Monday, February 19th, 2024 in Eastern/Southeast Oregon Top Stories

Deschutes County (Released by Grant County Washington Sheriff’s Office)-A stolen backhoe recovered by Grant County Sheriff’s Deputies earlier this week may have made the 250 mile trip from Bend, Oregon to Mattawa, Washington while under its own power.

A Deputy on Sunday working the county’s south end noticed the 2020 John Deere 410L on property in the 30000 block of State Route 243 South near Mattawa. The Deputy questioned the property owner about the backhoe, which was visibly out of place compared to other materials and vehicles on the property. The backhoe also had two broken windows.

Through investigation, the Deputy learned the backhoe was stolen on February 9 from a construction site near Bend, Oregon. The backhoe’s owner was able to review GPS tracking of the equipment which showed the GPS pings traveling at around 25 miles per hour – about top speed for the backhoe – from where it was stolen near Bend to where it was discovered near Mattawa. Since the owner of the property does not have access to anything that would tow the 30,000-pound backhoe, one of the few conclusions is that it was driven on roadways for the entire 250-mile trip. The math makes that 10-hours of travel.

The property owner did not provide any verifiable explanation as to how the backhoe got there.

The backhoe, valued at $160,000, was picked up by its legal owner and Deputies continue to investigate.