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Patrol deputy, property crimes investigators team up to recover stolen collectibles

Last month, a deputy responded to a burglary at a storage unit in the 16300 block of Meridian E. The victim told the deputy that he had been storing approximately $100,000 worth of collectibles in his storage unit, which was now empty.

Employees at the storage facility reviewed surveillance video and provided deputies with names of possible suspects. They also told deputies that the suspects loaded the stolen goods into a U-Haul truck.

The next day, a patrol deputy was driving through a parking lot in the 17400 block of Meridian when he noticed an unlicensed car parked next to a U-Haul truck. The deputy contacted the people in the car and ran their information. He discovered that one of them was listed as a suspect in the burglary at the storage unit. The back of the U-Haul was open and the deputy saw numerous boxes inside. He called the burglary victim, and the victim preliminarily identified the property as his. The deputy had the U-Haul impounded so that a search warrant could be obtained. The occupants of the car were free to leave as there was no probable cause for their arrest.

Investigators in our Proactive Property Crimes Unit took over the case and searched the U-Haul. It contained 44 of the approximately 87 boxes of collectibles that were stolen. The items were returned to the victim, who was grateful to have the collectibles back. Investigators also located a pistol and a rifle-style pellet gun in the truck.

After analyzing records and video, investigators confirmed the identities of the suspects. The case has been referred to the prosecutor’s office for a charging decision.

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