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Ransacking thieves use forklift to escape

A crime story

Sandy's investigation continues into a more daring type of vehicle break-in scenario than what has been seen in recent weeks.

The vehicles are larger, the stakes are higher and the danger of being caught is greater.

This overnight Feb. 15-16 incident happened at a business, inside a fenced area with a locked gate.

An employee of Johnson's RV, 41777 Highway 26, called Sandy police Feb. 16 when he noticed several vehicles had been broken into at the facility east of town.

An unlocked RV had been ransacked. Nearly every cabinet and drawer had been left open, and the contents of each had been tossed aimlessly throughout the inside of the RV.

At the front of the RV, several electronic items had been ripped from inside the cab, leaving loose wiring behind.

And one fingerprint.

An officer noticed some dust behind a camera monitor and saw fingerprints in the dust, as if the suspect(s) had tried to remove the monitor.

One good fingerprint was lifted, according to the police report.

In total, 35 gallons of fuel was siphoned from two vehicles. The fuel was worth more than $100.

A screwdriver and hose were found next to one of the vehicles and seized as evidence.

Besides the as yet unidentified electronic equipment from the ransacked RV, one $200 GPS unit also was taken from an unlocked van.

The company's forklift was driven to the east-side fence, and the forks had been lifted above the perimeter fence.

Police surmised the forklift might have been used to get the stolen property over the fence without going through the front gate.

No evidence was seized from the forklift, police stated, because company employees had used the equipment before officers arrived.

The fingerprint along with the hose and screwdriver were sent to the Oregon State Crime Lab for analysis and identification.

A company employee is contacting the owner of the ransacked RV to compile a list of stolen items.

At press time, The Post did not have a copy of the list.

If a suspect is identified, the charges are likely to be unlawful entry to a vehicle and theft.

If anyone has information related to this case, police are asking them to call the police department during its weekday open hours at 503-668-5566.