Local News

Troopers search Clayton storage unit for stolen property

CLAYTON, Wash. - The Washington State Patrol followed up their Wednesday auto theft raid on a Spokane home with a second raid Friday on a storage unit in Clayton in search of stolen property.

State troopers conducted the raid at a storage unit at the intersection of Highway 395 and Williams Road late Friday morning.

According to authorities on the scene, the Spokane County Sheriff's Office was serving eviction papers of a renter on a farm south of Clayton. While serving the eviction papers, the deputies noticed there were way too many cars here for just one tenant, ran the plates of some of the vehicles they saw there and they came up stolen. The deputies notified the WSP auto theft unit.

"[They] ran a couple of license plates and found one that was stolen. Subsequently called the WSP auto theft detectives to come up and check the rest of the property. Six vehicles and a stolen motorcycle were recovered from that location," WSP Trooper Jeff Sevigney said.

WSP auto theft bust

The landlord arrived at the property and told deputies he had taken some of the renter's property and locked them in a nearby mini storage unit, which is where the WSP executed a search warrant Friday in search of more stolen property.

The tenant was evicted for non-payment of his rent and so detectives are suspicious how he could afford to own the more than two dozen guitars found in the storage unit.

"There's a lot of stuff in there," Sevigney said. "[We're] working with the different communications centers to check all the data bases for stolen property."

This is the second raid executed by the Washington State Patrol this week. On Wednesday, troopers executed a search warrant on a Spokane couple's property and recovered several stolen vehicles and a significant quantity of methamphetamine.

One side effect of the auto theft raids is that the State Patrol impound lot -- nicknamed the bullpen -- was full of cars earlier this week. By Friday however, six of them had been returned to their rightful owners.