Following the leads of a burglary and stolen truck case, Gig Harbor Police officers uncovered a cache of stolen property located in three Key Peninsula storage units.
The case started when employees of a local lumber yard discovered that their business had been the victim of a break-in during the early morning hours of April 24. The thieves stole a truck belonging to the business along with a significant quantity of lumber. The truck was recovered a short distance away, but a tracking device on board showed that it had traveled to a Fox Island property in the time that it had been stolen. Officers obtained a search warrant for the property and recovered the stolen lumber.
Leads developed during that portion of the case allowed law enforcement to identify several suspects. During a subsequent search warrant of the residence of one suspect, it became apparent that a large amount of stolen property was being housed in a storage unit located in unincorporated Pierce County.
Yet another search warrant on this (and two other) storage units yielded approximately $200,000 of stolen property. The property was linked to at least eight truck thefts and nine victims. The stolen property ranged from personal family effects to equipment issued to military members to commercial merchandise and tools. Evidence of identity theft was also collected during this investigation.
It appears that the primary mode of operation for the suspects was to steal commercial or rental trucks to obtain the property. The total amount of property stolen could be in excess of over $1 million, however, only a portion of this has been recovered. Law enforcement personnel are looking into the possibility that some of the items have been sold in a variety of ways.
Currently, one suspect has been booked into the Pierce County Jail for three counts of possession of stolen property; his bail is set at $100,000 while the case is being evaluated by Pierce County prosecutors for consideration of additional charges. The investigation will continue in order to determine if other suspects are culpable for the thefts.
The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department assisted in the collection of the stolen property and provided additional investigative assistance.