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Man dumps half moldy trailer at school — and is caught returning for the rest, Oregon cops say

The half trailer was discovered at the elementary school near Portland on Saturday, authorities said.
The half trailer was discovered at the elementary school near Portland on Saturday, authorities said. Washington County Sheriff’s Office

An Oregon man said he wanted to transform the moldy, derelict double-wide trailer into “small housing units” in Portland — but that’s not what happened, according to authorities.

The man who owned the trailer paid Derek Conley, 35, to haul it away, believing Conley planned to convert it into tiny homes, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. Not that the trailer’s owner was picky about what became of it; he wrote in a Craigslist ad on Sept. 13 that the trailer “has to be off my property” and “I need it to be gone.” He offered $1,000 to get the job done.

Conley took half of the trailer, and said he’d be back for the rest, deputies said.

But Conley didn’t follow through on his tiny home designs: Conley dumped the dilapidated trailer at Echo Shaw Elementary School in Cornelius, where deputies found it the afternoon of Sept. 15 and began puzzling over how the “unsightly” home ended up there, the sheriff’s office said.

Neighbors informed deputies that it had been abandoned there by a big white truck. Others reported spotting a white truck towing the trailer north on Highway 47 from Yamhill to Cornelius, where it was ultimately dumped, the sheriff’s office said.

Photos posted by the sheriff’s office show the home wasn’t exactly ready for new occupants. It’s full of barrels, other large containers and plastic. The siding is peeling off. The ceiling appears to be splotched with damage. And it’s also split in two — leaving the interior of the half-trailer open to the elements, photos show.

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Derek Conley, 35, of Portland, Oregon, faces charges of offensive littering and second-degree criminal mischief, the sheriff’s office said. Washington County Sheriff’s Office

Tips began pouring in from the public about the Craigslist ad, deputies said.

“Doublewide Trailer - I will pay you to take,” the ad’s headline read. “$500 for each half. You will get the cash for each half when it is off our property as you are towing it away.”

The condition listed in the ad was “salvage.”

Deputies reached out to the man who posted the advertisement. The man told authorities that the person who took it — Conley — was planning to come back to get the other half, too.

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The trailer was moldy and “clearly a hazard,” the sheriff’s office said. Washington County Sheriff’s Office

Then the seller gave deputies a heads up just before midnight on Monday, letting them know Conley was coming back for the rest of the trailer, the sheriff’s office said.

Deputies showed up at the address, found Conley and arrested him.

Conley, a Portland resident, faces charges of offensive littering and second-degree criminal mischief, the sheriff’s office said. He also had an outstanding probation violation warrant for felon in possession of a firearm. Conley is in custody at the Washington County Jail.

As for the half-mobile home abandoned at the school?

Police said it’s been returned to the man who owned it originally, KGW reports.

This video, from a New Jersey Office of Emergency Management “high water vehicle,” shows driving rain and flooded streets from Tropical Storm Florence. The NHC says “life-threatening inland flood hazard” in the Carolinas would continue for days.

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