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Police recover large amount of stolen property

Marysville Police Officer Bill Belleme surveys the more than 60 bicycles that were recovered through a stolen property warrant on April 3. - Kirk Boxleitner
Marysville Police Officer Bill Belleme surveys the more than 60 bicycles that were recovered through a stolen property warrant on April 3.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

MARYSVILLE — More than 60 bicycles, two motorcycles, several firearms and an unspecified amount of narcotics were found at a residence in the 5200 block of 81st Place NE, through an investigation by members of the Marysville Police Department’s N.I.T.E. Team, which Marysville Police Cmdr. Wendy Wade described as the definition of swift response.

“We received the first complaints from area residents by email on Wednesday, April 2,” Wade said. “On Thursday, April 3, our officers went out to make contact with the occupants of the residence, and they observed what were later identified as two stolen motorcycles in the front yard.”

During that same contact, one of the officers also spotted a bicycle matching the description of a unique and expensive Olympic-style racing bicycle, worth more than $7,000, that had been stolen a couple of weeks prior in a residential burglary in Marysville. When officers obtained a search warrant for the residence later that day, they not only recovered those two motorcycles and the bicycle, but also found an additional 61 bicycles during a search of the backyard and garage, along with a stolen 12-foot Coleman camping trailer. Several firearms were also removed from the residence, including one that had previously been reported stolen.

“We had one man there, who was already a convicted felon, who is now up on quite a few more charges, including possession of and intent to sell stolen property,” Wade said. “We’re not sure how long he was in business for, but from our end, everything was done in the same day.”

Wade explained that residents of the central Marysville neighborhood became suspicious of possible criminal activity in their midst when they noticed their neighbor receiving an unusual amount of foot traffic, and stockpiling a large number of bicycles in his backyard.

“They were paying attention to the right signs,” Wade said. “If a house has a lot of people coming and going, or a lot of cars staying for only a short while, that should be setting off some alarms. We all have visitors, but most of them don’t just stop by for a few minutes and then leave, and then do the same thing the next day and the day after that.”

Since the residence in question was adjacent to an area commonly referred to as “Spook Woods” by area children, Wade elaborated that the area has already presented the city and police with problems in terms of a transient population, which is why signed trespass letters have been obtained from the owner of that woodland property.

“We’ve had a lot of burglaries in that overall area within the past few weeks and months,” Wade said. “These pockets of crime will pop up, and when we see them and deal with them, they’ll move to another area. With crime mapping, we’ve become more aware of those pockets, which allows us to focus resources such as the N.I.T.E. Team where they’re needed most. Because the N.I.T.E. Team isn’t out on patrol or responding to 911 calls, they have more flexibility and mobility to respond to the bigger nuisance and neighborhood livability issues.”

“While this investigation is ongoing, and we continue to look into the firearms and narcotics that were located in the search warrant, we’re hoping to return as many of the stolen bicycles as possible to their rightful owners,” Marysville Police Lt. Mark Thomas said. “The bicycles range from your average BMX, mountain and touring bikes to several high-end road bikes.”

Citizens who have been the victim of a bicycle theft in the last year, and believe that one of the bikes recovered may have been theirs, can go to a website link specifically created for victims to view photos of the recovered bicycles, at http://docs.marysvillewa.gov/htcomnet/Handlers/AnonymousDownload.ashx?folder=075ea11b.

Those who spot a bicycle they believe to be theirs should contact Marysville Police Officer Brad Smith, by phone at 360-363-8387 or via email at bsmith@marysvillewa.gov. Smith is scheduling appointments for citizens to come to the Marysville Police Station, at 1635 Grove St., to identify bicycles that might belong to them. Supporting documentation, such as receipts, documented serial numbers, personal photographs or even previously filed police reports, may be used to verify rightful ownership.

“When you don’t record things like serial numbers, it makes it that much harder to connect your stolen bicycle back to you,” Wade said. “Even if you put your own ID number on it, or hide your name on it, that helps out a lot. When cars are stolen, we can enter their VIN or license plate numbers into a database, but people who own bicycles often don’t document their ownership as well.”

Appointments for viewing the bicycles being made for Tuesdays and Thursdays, between 2:30-3:30 p.m., through Thursday, April 24.

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