PARKLAND, Wash. — A whirlwind investigation in Pierce County has led deputies to recover thousands of dollars in stolen property.
Pierce County Sheriff’s Department (PCSD) deputies found items worth an estimated $100,000 in a storage unit near Parkland on Tuesday.
The items are mostly power tools, lawnmowers and other landscaping equipment that belonged to at least five companies.
“Based on the amount of property, it’s not a one-time thing,” said PCSD Public Information Officer Sgt. said Darren Moss Jr.
Moss said the items were recovered during an investigation into a hit-and-run accident that killed a 12-year-old girl and injured her friend near Midland in January.
The driver, Terry Kohl, was arrested more than a week later and faces multiple charges, including homicide while driving a motor vehicle. Another suspect who drove Kohl after the accident also faces charges.
Both suspects are now linked to the stolen property, according to Moss.
“For these gentlemen, it feels like a full-time job,” Moss said.
A surveillance image of the lorry involved in the January crash helped deputies in their case. They eventually realized it was stolen from a landscaping company and further investigation into Kohl’s alleged theft activity led them to the stolen equipment in the storage unit.
While most of the equipment recovered on Tuesday has been returned to its owners, Moss said some items have yet to be claimed.
“If they reported it stolen, but they didn’t have the serial numbers, there’s no way to verify that it’s their gear,” Moss said.
Moss recommends owners of such equipment write down serial numbers, take photos for records, or mark items with easily identifiable information, such as initials.
Additional charges related to the stolen property will be forwarded to the prosecutor for review, according to a post from the PCSD Facebook page.