MONROE — It started with a stolen garden cart and ended with police seizing guns, a score of drugs, digital scales, cash and other swiped goods.
A week ago, a home improvement store employee reported seeing someone steal a garden cart from the parking lot and drive off in a white truck, according to a Monroe Police Department news release. Officers found the vehicle nearby, with the cart in the bed and arrested the 45-year-old driver on third-degree theft charges.
Then, police called a K9 unit to the scene. Police dog Sam alerted for the presence of drugs, allowing authorities to get a search warrant for the truck.
During the search, officers found a Ruger pistol, a semi-automatic pistol with an extended magazine, 99 pills marked as Oxycodone, heroin, methamphetamine, mushrooms and a stolen license plate and debit card.
“We’ve got someone that’s hauling what are not user amounts of drugs and enough cash to pay for it, but yet, they still choose to steal an item,” Deputy Chief Ryan Irving said. “It’s unusual, but often property crimes and drugs are associated.”
Authorities searched the serial numbers of the guns and learned one, the Ruger, was stolen during a burglary in Everett.
The truck’s two passengers were both released from custody, with an investigation pending, the release said.
The case is still being actively pursued, Irving said. Multiple felony charges are being evaluated.
Irving said the search was made easier by the alert home improvement store employee, who called police as the crime was happening and gave police the license plate number of the suspected getaway vehicle.