Local News

Alert neighbors lead deputies to stolen property

Alert neighbors lead deputies to stolen property

COLFAX, Wash. - People living in Whitman County have a better chance of holding onto their valuables after sheriff's deputies made a big stolen property bust in Thornton.

A tip led deputies to a home in the 11000 block of Sunset Road in Thornton, Wash. with some big ticket items taken from across the Inland Northwest.

Farmers work very hard for what they have and there's not much to look at around Thornton right now except the fields that are greening up. So when nearby residents noticed some pricey fifth wheel trailers on a piece of property that's already seen some criminal activity they called the sheriff's office.

When deputies identified the person who's been staying there, they learned Keith Kautzman had two active felony warrants and arrested him. Detectives developed additional information, got probable cause for a search warrant and then discovered a lot more stolen loot including several handguns, chainsaws and a laptop computer taken from its owner two years ago. Investigators also turned up a big wad of cash and an ounce of methamphetamine.

"It's a big success when we can find property and return it and we can put somebody in jail because the bottom line is nobody likes thieves in their jurisdiction and when we can hold people accountable, give people their property back, I think everybody feels better," Whitman County Sheriff Brett Myers said.

Kautzman was booked on possession of stolen property and held in lieu of $50,000. He also has active warrants in Stevens and Spokane counties.