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03-07-12, 08:55 AM #1
Seattle Police ran fake pawn shop for 11 months to catch criminals and recover stolen itemsThe Department's Major Crimes Task Force, working with the Pawn Shop and Property Recovery Unit, teamed with King County prosecutors and the FBI to setup the shop, where undercover officers spent 11 months buying stolen goods for a fraction of their value.
During the operation, detectives bought more than 900 stolen items, including 146 watercraft, motorcycles and other vehicles. There were 76 bikes, several stolen computers, personal electronics, passports – even business documents intended to be shredded.
To avoid tipping off criminals and endangering officers, police did not immediately return most items. There were a few exceptions, including a stolen car full of wrapped baby shower gifts and a truck with more than $100,000 of construction equipment.
Though police watched the vehicles the entire time, they ditched them and had them recovered by King County Sheriff's deputies, which then reported the cars were found abandoned as part of the operation, Pugel said.
The investigation also recovered 27 stolen firearms. In one case, police say a felon sold military grade C-4 explosives to undercover officers. Mayor Mike McGinn lauded police for keeping such items off Seattle streets.
A felon who police say sold the explosives is one of six suspects charged by federal authorities. There were 102 suspects involved in 314 separate criminal cases, police say.
Read more: Police undercover operation nets stolen guns, explosives and other items - seattlepi.com
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