• Danville police break up theft ring involving housing inspector

    September 13, 2012 No comments

    Danville Police say they have broken up a large scale theft ring that was stealing appliances from local homes during federal housing inspections.

    In a report by WISH-TV in Indianapolis, police are calling this a major break in a case they’ve been following for months now, involving hundreds of appliances stolen from dozens of homes worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    Thursday morning they said they have at least some of those responsible behind bars.

    The big break happened Wednesday morning after a man went to a home he had just purchased and found the appliances missing.   

    Neighbors reported seeing a large white box truck hauling them away.

    That truck broke down a few miles away and police found it.     

    It turns out it was reported stolen from a repair shop too.

    Inside, investigators found not just the appliances but equipment for a large scale indoor marijuana growing operation as well.

    Police arrested the driver, Nick King, and then put an undercover officer behind the wheel of the truck.

    He drove the truck to a planned “meet up” with another suspect, Steven Atkins, a man police say was a contracted housing inspector at hundreds of homes across the area.

    According to detectives, Atkins made arrangements with a contractor to go in behind him and provided a key to burglarize the house and remove appliances.

    Police say Atkins admitted to them during interviews early Thursday morning that he knew federal lenders like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac rarely followed up on theft reports.

    Police are still working to recover some of the some of the stolen appliances.

    WISH-TV reports that because of the federal component of this investigation, it’s also possible federal charges could be filed.

    Police say their investigation continues and more arrests are likely.

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