The tip that led to the arrest of two men charged with stealing more than 12 trailers and vehicles in Pierce County came from a man trying to find his stolen truck.
After the man’s 20-foot utility trailer and his pickup were taken from his Spanaway home Jan. 7, he checked a neighbor’s surveillance video in search of clues.
That’s when he saw a Ford F150 driving away with his vehicles in the footage.
More than a week later, the man happened to see the truck parked outside a restaurant and wrote down the license plate. Then he traced it to an address in Graham, where he convinced a property owner to let him peek over a fence.
He spotted his pickup and called the Sheriff’s Department.
Two deputies checked out the property in the 25800 block of Meridian Avenue East and found two stolen trailers, two quads and a truck.
Shane Sweetman, 33, refused to let deputies look inside a shop and claimed he didn’t know the items were stolen.
Deputies returned Thursday with a search warrant and recovered more than 12 stolen vehicles, including two quads and a trailer taken from Puyallup and two quads from Roy and Puyallup
They also found $5,000 worth of miscellaneous items such as snowboards, a riding lawnmower, tools, a vacuum and photography equipment.
Sweetman and another man, Dayin Henry, 34, were taken into custody.
Henry was living in a trailer on Sweetman’s property and, according to charging papers, told deputies the men conducted surveillance on neighborhoods, stole vehicles in the early morning hours and then tried to sell them online.
Sweetman pleaded not guilty to seven counts of unlawful possession of a stolen vehicle, first-degree possession of stolen property and first-degree trafficking in stolen property.
Henry pleaded not guilty to four counts of unlawful possession of a stolen vehicle, first-degree possession of stolen property and first-degree trafficking in stolen property.
Both men are being held in lieu of $40,000 bail.
Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653