Sunday, March 1, 2015
It all began on Feb 24 2015 when Ronald Niederbrach called the Klamath county Sheriff's Office to report that someone had stolen his 1,200 sq ft log cabin from his property in the remote area of Sprague OR. The police investigation showed that it looked as though someone had lifted it off the foundation and moved it away. This was not something from "Tiny House Nation" where it already was attached to wheels, it was a cabin set on property he owned.
The cabin was found on Feb 26th on Nine Mile Rd in neighbouring Chiloquin when residents there recognized the photo on the news. The home had evidently been next door to them for almost a year and was about a mile away from it's original location as the crow flies. The police state that it looks as though someone had jacked it up off the foundation and moved it with a flat bed truck of some kind to it's new location. That new location is straight across a huge field from where it was originally built.
This has quickly gone from a case of a stolen home to a civil dispute as to who the rightful owner actually is since there are four parties claiming to own the home. The story of the "stolen" cabin begins several years ago when a man named Miklos Kallo moved in with Niederbrach and his then girlfriend Paulette. Niederbrach's girlfriend at the time was Kallo's ex wife and the three lived in the home that already was built on Niederbrach's property so that she could care for Kallo and his health issues.
At some point later, Kallo had the cabin built on the property and he moved into it. Not too long after that, Niederbach and the girlfriend broke up and she went back to Kallo and moved into the cabin as well. By now the property was titled in all three names but Niederbrach moved out of the house. The Kallo's stayed at the property, living in the house until it burnt down in July 2014. They moved off the property then and Kallo sold the home to another person for what was reported as $3,000.
The new owner then hired a logging company to come out with a skidder and a lowboy and the cabin was moved across the field in Sept 2014. Niederbrach at some point had learned that the cabin was missing from the property and called Paulette to inquire what was up with it. She evidently told Niederbrach that she had no idea what had happened to the cabin and he finally reported it stolen on Feb 24th.
The case is far from closed even though the home has been found. Police have stated that there does not seem to be a theft involved because Kallo was the person who had purchased the kit to build the cabin and he was the one who sold it. Kallo had not told either Paulette or Niederbrach that he was selling the cabin from what they state. Niederbrach has stated that he spent a lot of his own money to finish the interior of the cabin so he has a financial stake in the sale of the cabin. If the new owner had in fact gotten the cabin for anything less than $40,000, he certainly knew that he was getting a steal for a deal on the cabin and while the purchase may ultimately be legal, moving it without a permit is not. For now though, the police have to decide which of the three had an ownership interest in the home and if a charge of aggravated theft does apply to the sale. The police do know where the cabin is right now and hopefully that is where it will stay until they finish their investigation.