A 45-year-old Federal Way man who allegedly stole heavy equipment and trailers from Eastern Washington and brought them back to Western Washington was recently arrested by the Puget Sound Auto Theft Task Force.
After a year-long investigation, officials recovered 18 vehicles, trailers, and pieces of heavy equipment from properties in Parkland, Kent, Federal Way and Bellevue, according to the task force.
The suspect was booked into King County jail.
During the investigation, the suspect was reportedly seen driving a 2015 Ford Transit van that had been stolen from the Richland area. Detectives discovered that the suspect allegedly altered the vehicle identification number (VIN) on the van to match the VIN of a wrecked Ford Transit van he had purchased at auction. Task force official then state the man titled the wrecked van in Washington and used its license plates on the stolen van.
The suspect was living in a 2020 Shadow Cruiser travel trailer, which had also been stolen from the Richland area. All original decals and the original VIN had been removed from the trailer. The suspect reportedly installed a new VIN placard which belonged to a Forest River travel trailer.
In addition, the stolen property recovered during the investigation includes: 2021 Grand Design travel trailer, 2020 Shadow Cruiser travel trailer, 2017 Coachman Freedom Express travel trailer, 2021 CAT 303.5 mini excavator, 2006 Trail King trailer, 2017 John Deere 318E skid steer, 2017 U-Haul trailer, 2020 Kubota KX040 mini excavator, 2006 PJ trailer, 2021 Mirage cargo trailer, 2015 Ford Transit van, 2003 cargo trailer, 2018 Ford Transit van 2017 Kubota SVL95 skid steer, 2016 Big Tex dump trailer, 2018 Loadtrail trailer, 2021 Summit trailer and a 2012 Mercedes Sprinter van.