A Hermiston man was arrested and jailed for allegedly attempting to steal a hydraulic cattle chute from a local business.
On Nov. 1, Deputy Cody Marcum of the Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office (UCSO) took a report of the attempted theft of the cattle chute from a farm supply business near Hermiston.
According to the UCSO, when an employee arrived at about 7 a.m. that morning, he found two men wearing black ski masks in the back of the business. They had allegedly attached the large cattle chute to a hitch on a 2008 Nissan Versa sedan. When the employee told the suspects to stop, they unhooked the cattle chute and sped off.
The employee wrote down the Washington license plate on the suspect’s car, and gave a detailed description of the car and the suspects. Through a records check, UCSO officials discovered that the Washington plate did not belong on the Nissan Versa, and the correct license plate for the car was an Oregon plate registered to Eric Nava, 24, from Hermiston. Nava also matched the reporting party’s description of one of the suspects.
On Nov. 4, a Hermiston Police Department officer stopped Nava’s vehicle and contacted the sheriff’s office. Deputy Nathan Rankin arrived and noticed the bogus Washington license plate inside Nava’s vehicle. After Nava gave his consent to search the vehicle, Rankin found a black ski mask along with drug paraphernalia.
According to the UCSO, Nava denied any involvement in the crime, but could not explain the items in his vehicle.
Nava was lodged at the Umatilla County Jail on charges of first-degree attempted theft, second-degree burglary, and criminal trespassing.