One alleged ODF lookout tower thief caught, second suspect still unidentified

JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. – A suspect accused of raiding an Oregon Department of Forestry lookout tower near Prospect is now behind bars.

Investigators said on August 14, two men broke into a tower in the Prospect area and stole batteries and solar panels used to power the lookout’s fire detection camera.

With the items gone, the camera is no longer operational, leaving a hole in the fire detection network.

This past Friday, an anonymous tip led to the arrest of one of the suspects, identified as 30-year-old Chad Allen McPherson.

During a search of his property in Prospect, detectives said they found a weapon—which McPherson is not allowed to have because he’s a convicted felon—256 illegal marijuana plants, and 300 pounds of processed black-market marijuana.

Later on in the day, someone reported seeing a duffel bag along Highway 62 in Prospect. JCSO said there was a note attached that read, “Call the cops.” Inside, deputies found items matching the stolen equipment. However, the solar panel and batteries are still missing.

McPherson faces charges of burglary, theft, criminal mischief, possession of burglary tools, and felon in possession of a firearm.

The second suspect is still unidentified.

If you have any further information about this case or recognize the second suspect, call JSCO at 541-774-8333.


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