LOWMAN, Idaho – Authorities say a 33-year-old man known for using a wheelbarrow to steal from vacation homes in Oregon was arrested in rural Boise County Wednesday.
Sheriff’s deputies arrested Billie Jo Shrader after receiving a tip from a homeowner who spotted him entering a vacation home in Lowman, Idaho, a spokesperson with the Marion County, Oregon Sheriff’s Office said.
Shrader was wanted for targeting vacation homes and vacant homes for sale in the Detroit Lake vacation area in Oregon.
Shrader wasn't only breaking into the homes -- in some cases he was living in them for days at a time, according to officer Don Thomson with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.
“Entry is gained by prying doors and breaking windows," Thomson said. "The burglar targets homes without alarm systems,” he added. “While staying in the houses, the burglar makes himself comfortable, showering, eating food and drinking liquor he finds stored there.”
Camping gear, blankets, clothing and food were stolen from the homes and at least six cases have been linked, investigators said.
In one of the cases, the homeowner discovered the suspect sleeping in the master bedroom and managed to snap a cell phone photo as he fled.(See photo above, right)
Authorities say Shrader would often use a wheelbarrow to cart items out of the homes and steal them, earning him the "Wheelbarrow Burglar" nickname.
Investigators say Shrader is a transient with a criminal record who was released from prison in October.
Deputies say after his capture, Shrader reportedly cooperated with investigators, and has been providing details of his alleged crimes.
They're said to be investigating other burglaries in the Lowman area that Shrader may have committed.