Possible chain saw chop shop under investigation

MARYSVILLE — On the street, he’s known as “the saw guy.”

Now detectives with a north Snohomish County property crimes unit are investigating whether the Marysville-area businessman was running what amounted to a chop shop for stolen chain saws.

With a court-approved search warrant in hand, they paid an unannounced visit to the home-based online business last week. The man has not been arrested or charged.

The investigation is continuing and the business owner has been cooperative, said sheriff’s detective Glenn DeWitt, a member of the north county property crimes unit.

Detectives recovered seven items, including a boat motor and chain saws, that had been reported stolen in Snohomish and Skagit counties. They also are sorting through the serial numbers of roughly 200 other pieces of equipment found on the property.

The business, which sells chain saws and parts over the Internet, reportedly made $166,000 in 2013.

It came under scrutiny in recent months during other burglary and theft investigations. One woman told detectives that a lot of drug users take their stolen loot to the “saw guy.”

In early January, a Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office patrol deputy stopped a car near Marysville. A man ran off. Deputies found heroin, methamphetamine and a notebook titled the “Stihl book” in the car. Stihl is a brand of chain saw. The book included a ledger listing makes and models of different chain saws, weed eaters, leaf blowers and other equipment.

Among the items recovered last week was a blower that was stolen from a city of Marysville truck.

One burglary suspect reportedly trolled neighborhoods looking for homes where wood had recently been cut. That was a sign that the owners might have chain saws. Detectives believe the thief hit cars, barns, sheds and open garages.

In one instance near Cathcart, the alleged burglar entered a garage and stole several guns from an open safe. A sheriff’s vehicle was parked in the driveway next door.

Detectives believe the business owner and a co-worker would break apart many of the chain saws brought to them and sell the parts.

“This is similar to cases I have investigated related to chop shops where suspects were taking apart cars to sell for parts,” DeWitt wrote.

Law officers are looking for a man and a woman suspected in multiple burglaries and thefts related to the chain saw case.

The investigation involving the business owner also will be forwarded to prosecutors to decide on whether charges should be filed. Potential charges could include trafficking in stolen property.

DeWitt said there were concerns that the man was not following sales and transaction rules for second-hand businesses. Those include gathering identification from people offering merchandise and logging serial numbers.

The detective urged homeowners to keep track of serial numbers for items that could be attractive to thieves.

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

Talk to us

More in Local News

FILE - Former President Donald J. Trump watches the NCAA Wrestling Championships, Saturday, March 18, 2023, in Tulsa, Okla. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)
Lawyer: Trump indicted, 1st ex-president charged with crime

Former president Donald Trump has been indicted on charges in New York regarding payments made during the 2016 presidential campaign to silence claims of an extramarital sexual encounter.

Jeanette Westover poses for a photo at her home in Snohomish, Washington on Tuesday, March 28, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Tenant: Housing Hope ignored meth contamination at Snohomish apartment

Jeanette Westover says meth contamination far exceeding state limits gave her seizures and kidney infections.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Snohomish in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Police investigating cause of fatal 3-vehicle crash on Highway 9

The man, 61, crossed the center line in Snohomish on Monday and crashed into the truck, the sheriff’s office said.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Snohomish in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
1 dead, 1 in hospital after 3-vehicle crash on Highway 9

A concrete pumping truck and two sedans crashed Monday afternoon, closing the highway near Bickford Avenue.

Moses Malachi Brewer appears in court for sentencing Friday, March 24, 2023, at Snohomish County Superior Court in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Man sentenced to 18 years for 2019 shooting in Everett

Moses Brewer, 23, shot four people in an Everett apartment, which left one victim paralyzed on his right side.

Logo for news use, for stories regarding Washington state government — Olympia, the Legislature and state agencies. No caption necessary. 20220331
Health care spending continues to outpace inflation, driven by prices

Can state efforts curb 6.7% growth per year in overall health care spending?

NO CAPTION NECESSARY: Logo for the Cornfield Report by Jerry Cornfield. 20200112
A buffet of budgets, a bunch of whales and a request for your miles

It’s Day 78. Here’s what’s happening in the 2023 session of the Washington Legislature

Erinn Dearth and Dan Beckmann will perform 7 p.m. at The Historic Everett Theater, on Friday, April 14, 2023. Their "Letters From Home" show features music from the soundtracks of WWII, Vietnam and more. (Photo provided)
USO-style variety show to make stop at Historic Everett Theatre

The cast of “Letters from Home” hopes to reach veterans, active military members and their families.

Jack Yoke, 5, runs through the Roozengaarde tulip fields on Tuesday, April 27, 2021 in Mount Vernon, Wash. This is the final week to head out to Mount Vernon to enjoy the of the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival which ends on May 2nd.(Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Tulip Festival brings spectacular traffic jams, blooms to Skagit Valley

Thousands will visit the annual flower fest that kicks off Saturday and runs through April. Here are some tips.

Most Read