Local theft ring busted.

June 17, 2021


Local theft ring busted.

Sheriff’s office recovers ‘tens of thousands of dollars’ in stolen property.

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

Oceana County residents can sleep a little easier at night knowing that a local crime ring has been dismantled.

“Deputies and detectives uncovered a group of young men involved in criminal acts including breaking and entering and larcenies,” said Oceana County Sheriff Craig Mast. The officers recovered “tens of thousands of dollars worth of stolen property,” said Mast.

Officers are currently processing all of the stolen property, which includes ORVs, “high dollar” chainsaws, diagnostic tool kits, multiple power tools and hand tools. 

“We confiscated three different vehicles that were packed full of property,” said Sheriff Mast. 

The sheriff’s office is working with the Hart post of the Michigan State Police and Newaygo County authorities because some of the crimes occurred in Newaygo County as well. “They were going into retail stores and filling coolers with merchandise, like watches, jewelry and hunting and fishing equipment, and would go through the self checkout.” The suspects would then ring up only the coolers but not the contents, he said. This was done at larger stores, such as Walmart in Fremont. 

One stolen item – a diagnostic automotive testing kit – is worth $8,000-$9,000, said Mast.

One suspect has been arrested and arraigned in Oceana County’s 78th District Court. Cody Boyd Scheel, 33, of 8875 W. 13 Mile Rd., Walkerville, was arrested by the Oceana County Sheriff’s Office for a felony of receiving and concealing stolen property $1,000-$20,000. Scheel also faces a misdemeanor in a separate case of using/possessing flashing lights on a motor vehicle when he allegedly impersonated a police officer and pulled over a vehicle. He is scheduled for a probable cause hearing in district court Monday, June 21, at 3 p.m. His bail was set at $20,000/cash/surety/10 percent, which he posted.

Warrants will be issued for three other men from the Walkerville/Hesperia area who are involved in the crime spree, said Mast. The other suspects will face felony charges of breaking and entering, receiving and concealing stolen property and larceny. 

A traffic stop in Walkerville resulted in the identification of the suspects. During the traffic stop, the deputy discovered that a side by side ORV being hauled on a trailer by the vehicle that was pulled over was reported stolen. 

“This all came to light last week,” said Mast.

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