Redmond’s Pro-Act team nabs tool thief in latest bust

The Redmond Police Department’s Pro-Act unit has been conducting crime investigations for 13 years.

Police recovered this stolen saw, among other expensive tools, when they arrested the suspected tool thief. Courtesy of the Redmond Police Department

Police recovered this stolen saw, among other expensive tools, when they arrested the suspected tool thief. Courtesy of the Redmond Police Department

Redmond Police recently arrested a suspected thief who allegedly stole $12,000 worth of tools in what was described as a brisk investigation.

Redmond Police Department’s (RPD’s) Pro-Act team began investigating the theft on Sept. 10 after a construction crew discovered the suspected thief had stolen dozens of expensive tools the previous weekend. The stolen tools included drills, saws, lasers and other costly items from a construction site on the 7300 block of 185th Avenue Northeast.

Police returned the equipment to the rightful owners, following the arrest, because they provided serial numbers and identifying details on each of the items. The details also assisted in the investigation as police quickly found the suspect was selling the tools online.

The Pro-Act team tracked the tools back to the 38-year-old male suspect who has a lengthy history of theft, according to a press release.

“Based on evidence found during the investigation, officers found probable cause for arrest and located the suspect on Sept. 13,” RPD wrote, announcing the arrest. “After briefly attempting to evade police, officers detained the suspect without further incident. He was booked on suspicion of possessing stolen property, trafficking and various illegal drug offenses.”

This bust is only the latest for RPD’s Pro-Act unit, which has been responsible for multiple successful investigations since it was founded about 13 years ago.

Pro Act collaborates with other local agencies and regional partners, including the Eastside Narcotics Task Force, to also build cases against criminals involved with identity theft, property crime and low-level drugs.

The unit busted a major Eastside drug dealer in Kirkland back in February after a lengthy investigation. The suspect involved was known to sell large quantities of methamphetamine and heroin on the Eastside and police found nearly a pound of meth and 20 grams of brown heroin in the bust.

In 2014, Pro-Act led a raid that was described to be as far fetched as “Breaking Bad,” busting a drug operation 300 feet away from Helen Keller Elementary. Kirkland and Bellevue police joined Redmond’s Pro-Act team in seizing drug paraphernalia, including a frying pan with heroin, baggies containing crystal meth, capped and uncapped needles and pieces of used aluminum foil, and 26 firearms that included AK-47s, pistols and a sawed-off shotgun, according to police records. Police also discovered an underground bunker the arrested suspect used as a shooting range.

Redmond’s Pro-Act unit was initially created amid a rash of automobile thefts in King County and has since focused on cases against recidivist criminals who commit crimes related to auto theft, car prowl, burglary and financial fraud.

“They assist with investigating serious crimes as needed to protect the community,” the city’s website says.

Locals can look for updates related to the tool thief’s charges and the Pro-Act unit at www.redmond-reporter.com.

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