Cops break $200,000 crime ring

By Kevin Hanson, The Courier-Herald

A three-month investigation by city detectives turned up an estimated $200,000 worth of stolen goods, the largest recovery in the history of the Enumclaw Police Department.

The loot was being kept in commercial storage facilities in Bonney Lake and Federal Way, plus other locations police have not yet disclosed, according to Eric Sortland of the Enumclaw department.

Following a tip, Enumclaw detectives Heidi Hoffman and Steve Robinson began working the case, eventually learning that items stolen from residential, commercial and industrial sites throughout the South Sound region were being hawked on the Internet.

The ringleader, Sortland said, was arrested at gunpoint the afternoon of July 14, while under surveillance by Bonney Lake police officers. When they made the arrest, the man was driving a stolen truck and was on the way to one of his storage units, Sortland said. A second man was following in a freight truck, ready to haul some of the stolen goods to another location; he was simply hired to do a job and innocent of any crime, police said.

Sortland said police executed search warrants on storage units and also on the Bonney Lake home where the ringleader was staying. In his room, police found numerous assault rifles and large-caliber handguns. Computers were seized, as police are hoping to learn more about transactions involving stolen property.

Kevin Hanson can be reached at

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