POST FALLS, Idaho - People living in Post Falls are celebrating their freedom from a suspected rug house in their neighborhood after Kootenai County's Violent Crime Task Force raided a home at the intersection of 20th Avenue and Walnut Street Wednesday.
The raid turned up meth, stolen property and there were so many people inside during the raid the Rathdrum-Post Falls SWAT Team ran out of handcuffs while processing everyone inside.
"We were actually shocked to be honest with you," Post Falls Police Captain Pat Knight said. "In my 20 years in law enforcement I've never been involved in a case, in a tactical atmosphere, where we've had that many people come out of a home."
Neighbors say they knew this home was a hangout for druggies for more than a year now which started with the non-stop flow of short stay visitors.
"It was just a lot of traffic and then the junk started to pile up, then they brought the pit bulls over and just one thing lead to another," neighbor Christina Gernert said.
Residents started writing down license plate numbers and kept logs about who visited and when.
At the same time, property crimes in the area started to rise as the people living in the house allegedly started burglarizing their own neighborhood and that's why the community celebrated the early morning raid.
"Oh my goodness you should have seen us all, we were a bunch of fools we were sitting in the window and giving them thumbs up and high fiving and as soon as they got everybody arrested and got them down the road we came out and thanked the sheriff and all the officers we could find," Gernert said.
The raid turned up dealing quantities of drugs that tipped the scales as the area's biggest so far this year. Police say given the amount of stolen property they found the bust should have a big impact on theft in the area.
"With the number of people who were there, there's 14 or 15 people running around in the late night hours locating property that doesn't belong to them and selling that to support their drug habit," Knight said.
As if to emphasize that point, Thursday morning police recovered a recently stolen, high-end mountain bike in the house's backyard.