Manager a suspect in store thefts

EVERETT — A Stanwood man who managed an equipment store in Snohomish has been arrested for investigation of theft and trafficking in stolen property after more than $50,000 in merchandise, including a tractor, turned up missing.

Detectives believe the man made a string of false theft reports in an attempt to hide his alleged involvement in the crimes.

The suspect, 55, was released from the Snohomish County Jail on Friday after a bail hearing in Everett District Court.

No charges have been filed.

During his more than 10 years as manager, some of the man’s responsibilities included the sales of new and consigned equipment, taking equipment on consignment and entering it into the company computer system once it was sold or accepted as inventory.

The man was fired in 2011 after allegedly admitting to the business’ owners that he’d sold inventory he had listed as missing, court papers said. He’s also accused of failing to enter consigned equipment into inventory and then selling those items.

Detectives believe the man filed false police reports with the Snohomish Police Department over the years to cover his thefts.

In April, police took a report from the business about a missing tractor, which had an estimated value of $12,000. Its owner had turned it over on consignment, but hadn’t heard back from the Snohomish business. The suspect allegedly admitted selling it to a neighbor for substantially less than it was worth and pocketing the money.

A Snohomish County sheriff deputy contacted the suspect during the investigation. The man allegedly admitted that on multiple occasions he had stolen equipment from his former employer and others to feed his gambling addiction, court papers said.

“The aggregate amount of stolen items is estimated at over $50,000 and an accurate amount is pending,” court papers said.

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

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