Distinctive pickup truck leads law enforcement to suspected thief


Chelan County – A distinctive truck and a sharp-eyed witness are credited with helping investigators crack a construction theft case that started months ago.

The Columbia River Drug Task Force (CRDTF) issued a press release saying someone had been stealing from construction sites across Chelan, Douglas, Grant, and Franklin Counties starting in January.  Investigators found out that the suspect vehicle appeared to be a dual rear-wheel truck, commonly called a “dually” style pickup truck.

Investigators say the crimes went on for weeks.  Finally, someone spotted a man with a dually pickup, stuck in a ditch on a job site.  The witness took down the truck’s license plate, which CRDTF says “eventually made it to law enforcement for follow up.”

The license plate number led investigators to a home on North Keller Street, in East Wenatchee.  Then, investigators say a Douglas Co. Sheriff’s Deputy spotted the suspect truck towing a stolen trailer from Quincy.  They arrested the driver and impounded the truck.  The next day, CRDTF detectives served a search warrant at the property where the suspect truck was registered.

Investigators say they found two more trailers and enough material to stock a small hardware store; all reported stolen from various construction sites.  It took two days for detectives to process everything – including lumber, flooring, siding, windows, appliances, and more than a dozen heat pumps.  They also found hundreds of unopened bottles of alcohol that detectives believe may have also been stolen.  Now they are working to track down all the rightful owners, and asking anyone who might have been the victim of a construction or large-scale alcohol burglary to give them a call.  You can contact the Columbia River Drug Task Force by calling (509) 664-2310.