Three people were arrested after police officers pretended to be buyers of goods that were reported stolen. (Lynnwood Police Department)

Three people were arrested after police officers pretended to be buyers of goods that were reported stolen. (Lynnwood Police Department)

Suspected vehicle prowlers caught in OfferUp sting at Dick’s

Three people believed to have stolen truck end-gates and landscaping gear in Lynnwood were arrested.

LYNNWOOD — A watchful neighbor, an online marketplace and a sting at a fast-food restaurant nabbed three suspected vehicle prowlers over the weekend.

Lynnwood police arrested two men and a woman in their 30s and 40s Sunday evening. A police officer pretended to be a buyer of equipment that was reported to be stolen the day before, using OfferUp, a smartphone app and online classifieds service.

A neighbor in the 5900 block of 200th Street SW noticed a man grabbing landscaping equipment from the bed of a pick-up truck and tossing it over a nearby fence. The truck’s owner was told and said several pieces of gear were stolen, including a chain saw, a leaf blower and a weed eater.

A family member of the victim reportedly spotted the gear on the app, and the victim notified police. An officer noticed that the same person listing the allegedly stolen equipment was selling a truck tailgate that matched a previously reported vehicle prowl in Lynnwood. That led to the Sunday sting at Dick’s Drive-In in Edmonds.

Two of the suspects were booked on trafficking in stolen property. The other was booked on possession of stolen property.

A leaf blower and several truck end-gates were recovered, but the other landscaping items were not located.

Police say vehicle prowls are often crimes of opportunity, taking advantage of unlocked doors, open windows, and unsecured items. To minimize your risk, do not leave bags, equipment, packages or tools visible in your vehicle, and lock and secure the vehicle.

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