GPS helps cops track down stolen lumber

MARYSVILLE — A large lumber theft has been foiled, thanks in part to GPS.

Detectives with the Snohomish County Auto Theft Task Force identified a suspect and were trying to track down the Marysville man, 43, on Friday.

“It’s not the usual thing to steal a truck load of lumber,” auto task force Sgt. Jason Longoria said.

Parr Lumber in Marysville reported a delivery truck loaded with lumber was stolen between New Year’s Eve and Thursday morning.

The truck had been returned to the business but its bed was empty of its cargo.

The bed included beams and wood cut to various dimensions bundled together in stacks, Longoria said.

The lumber supply company provided GPS data from the truck. Investigators used it to trace where the wayward wood reportedly went.

The data trail led detectives to a home in the 6100 block of 5th Drive NW on the Tulalip Indian Reservation. They found lumber with tell-tale markings tucked beneath some tarps. They also discovered a Dodge pickup truck and a trailer, both of which had been reported stolen in a separate incident. The 15-foot trailer was stuffed with suspected stolen property, including construction equipment, car parts and household appliances.

The lumber alone reportedly was worth more than $10,000.

The GPS data allowed detectives to chronicle when the truck was taken, where it went, how long it took to unload and when it was returned, Longoria said. Detectives believe the burglar used a specialized forklift on the back of the truck to unload the wood. The forklift also was returned after the heist.

The suspect was released from prison a year ago, Longoria said.

Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446; stevick@heraldnet.com.

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