Two arrested, third on the run after stolen police equipment found in U-Haul
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. - Mountain View Police recovered a U-Haul last Friday filled with stolen police equipment. They were quick to point out that no firearms were found.
Still, there were duffle bags full of other items officers use regularly. Two people are already under arrest, and a third is on the run.
An officer on routine patrol saw it first: a U-Haul parked right by the front entrance of the Mountain View Kohl’s.
"Something instinctively made him go hmm… that's not right," Katie Nelson with Mountain View police, said.
His instincts turned out to be spot on. A theft report came just then from Kohl’s, which led to a search of the U-Haul, which led to an unbelievable discovery.
In the back of the vehicle, was several duffle filled with stolen police equipment.
"I can't go into too much detail on that, but I can say that I know that at least we found chains and handcuffs that belonged to a Bay Area department," said Nelson.
Mountain View police will not identify which Bay Area department it was, or when the bags of equipment might have been stolen.
They also recovered stolen license plates and training materials from a state law-enforcement agency.
"I can confirm that there were no firearms found,” said Nelson. “We've had that question several times now. And there was nothing related to a San Jose Police Department case that was recently reported on.
Officers quickly arrested two people, James Atkins Jr. of San Francisco and Ashley Hund of Livermore.
They say a search of their rooms at the nearby Hotel Avante turned up drug paraphernalia and meth.
Authorities say they're still taking inventory of all the stolen police equipment, and will now work on returning it to its rightful owners.
"In the wrong hands that could be a huge problem. So being able to recover this and return them to the agencies with whom it actually belongs, that's a big sigh of relief for everybody involved,” Nelson said.
Police are still trying to identify a possible third suspect in the case.