ARREST MADE IN CONNECTION WITH SIX SEPARATE INCIDENT REPORTS
Steven Ray Gauger
The Sheriff's Office on Tuesday, January 21st, arrested 28 year old STEVEN RAY GAUGER of Gamaliel on a multitude of charges in connection with six separate reported incidents of breaking or entering, theft, and trespass.
At approximately 9:56 AM Tuesday, the Sheriff's Office received a report on Baxter CR 467 of a suspicious person at that residence. Upon the arrival of the deputy, the complaining party stated that a man in a silver van had been at the residence acting in a strange manner. A license plate number for the van had been recorded and was provided to the deputy.
While in the same general area, the deputy was given another suspicious person call on Baxter CR 37, also involving a silver van. On this complaint, the suspicious person came up to the house and asked if the homeowner would like to buy some firewood. The homeowner declined, and the man left. A short time later, the homeowner discovered that two chainsaws were missing from his front porch, which were valued collectively at approximately $675.00.
The deputy had information indicating that STEVEN GAUGER could possibly be the person in the silver van. A photo of GAUGER was shown to the complaining parties, and both of them identified him as the man who had been at their respective residences.
The deputy, Sergeant Ken Grayham, then went to an address on Maple Leaf Trail and found GAUGER and the silver van there. Investigators then responded to that location. While Investigators were speaking with GAUGER they observed a canoe and a flat bottom boat that matched the description of ones being stolen at another recent theft on Baxter CR 36. When GAUGER was questioned about those articles, he asked for an attorney. GAUGER lives in a trailer on the property belonging to another person. The property owner gave Investigators permission and consent to look around the property. The canoe and boat were confirmed as having been stolen from the Baxter CR 36 address. The victim of that theft stated that he and his family had recently lost their home to a fire. They had been making trips to the home place to gather property when they discovered the canoe, the boat, tools, and various other miscellaneous items missing from the yard and from two storage sheds on the property.
Also located on the property was a 1972 Suzuki motorcycle taken from inside a structure on Baxter CR 187, which had been reported on January 13, 2020, with a subsequent report from the same victim taken on January 17, 2020 concerning stolen automobile parts that the victim saw in the yard of another address on Baxter CR 187. Investigators went to the location to look into that. While there, Investigators saw a small utility trailer parked in the driveway. The persons residing there stated that GAUGER had left the trailer there. The trailer appeared to have been repainted, and the flooring on the trailer was not typical. Further investigation later revealed that this trailer had been reported stolen from an address on State Highway 5 North.
When confirmed stolen property was found in possession of GAUGER, he was arrested and taken into custody. Investigators also found a 12 gauge shotgun at the residence. STEVEN GAUGER has a prior conviction for a felony crime and is thus prohibited from possessing firearms.
STEVEN GAUGER was transported to the Baxter County Detention Center and booked on the following charges related to six separate reports taken from January 5th through January 21st:
Breaking or Entering (3 counts) - Felonies
Theft of Property (2 counts) - Felonies
Theft of Property (4 counts) - Misdemeanors
Criminal Trespass (2 counts) - Misdemeanors
Criminal Mischief - Misdemeanor
Possession of Firearms by Certain Persons (convicted felon) - Felony
STEVEN GAUGER is being held in lieu of $25,000 bond and is expected to make an appearance before the Circuit Court to answer later this month.
/s/ John F. Montgomery,
Baxter County Sheriff