Jeff Humphrey

Police Raid Stolen Property Ring

Jeff Humphrey, Media Content Coordinator, 509.625.6308

Tuesday, February 26, 2019 at 11:26 a.m.

On February 21st, members of the Spokane Police Department raided a home at N. 4734 Freya, hoping to recover stolen property and return those items to their rightful owners.

“Two brand new snow blowers that show up at 2 o’clock in the morning, that’s not normal right? That’s stolen stuff. They are obviously taking in property, mostly stolen property, in exchange for drugs,” explained Sgt. Brian Eckersley of the Target Crimes Unit.

During a previous raid, at the same address, police arrested Donald Shawn Gilbrech on federal narcotics charges.

Detectives then obtained a second warrant to search the home for items crime victims have reported stolen.

Police recovered a $3,500 bicycle taken from a South Hill garage in December.

Detectives can prove that the cycle is stolen because the owner had recorded the bike’s serial number when he bought it.

“The serial number we got on one stolen bike has allowed us to get in here and get property. We have owners showing up left and right to come pick up their stolen property that we never would have gotten if not for that one person recording their serial numbers,” Eckersley said thankfully.

That one person is Sam Read who, up until now, never thought he would see his bike again.

“The best advice I can give to the owner of a bicycle; the first thing you need to do is to go and write down your serial number when you get it. Take a picture of it, write it down,” Read said after he was reunited with his bike.

“They broke into his garage and they stole his whole car and it was full of half his tools and half my tools,” Derek Neu told officers after detectives called Neu to the scene.

Neu is getting his construction tools back because he writes his phone number on big- ticket items.

“If my number is on there, they can call me, ‘oh hey, we found one of your ladders.’ Just like today, they found this chop-saw. Because doing what we do and being on-site and things like that, things do get stolen. I’m very happy and I think it’s great police are doing this,” Neu said as he loaded the recovered saw into his pickup.

Police say, by recording the serial numbers of your valuables, you can also get your stolen property back if someone tries to pawn it.

“Everything that is pawned, we have access to. So if something is stolen, you report it, you have the serial numbers; we are going to have access to that information. We are going to find it,” Eckersley said of the Electronic Pawn Shop Reporting program.

Knowing the serial numbers of your valuables can also give police the evidence they need to catch a burglar or, arrest people for trafficking in stolen property.

“Yeah, we want to get those guys off the street, but we also want to recover stolen property for the victims,” pledged Eckersley.

Police say you can also help protect your property by engraving your driver’s license number on your valuables.

You can borrow an engraver, at no charge, at Spokane C.O.P.S substations.

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