Police are still looking for John Copeland (prior booking photo)
Police arrested (from top left): Steven Davila, Richard Lepore, Mark Booker, Bonnie Mata, Joseph Schwab, and Christopher Jacobo
GRESHAM, OR (KPTV) -
Gresham police broke up a major burglary operation this week, clearing a dozen open burglary cases and recovering over $25,000 in stolen property in the process, according to investigators.
Detectives tell FOX 12 they began this investigation six months ago after noticing several vacant, for sale and remodeled homes in Gresham had their appliances stolen.
They caught a huge break, according to investigators, when a neighbor on the 1300 block of NE Country Club road reported a burglary in process back in January of 2014.
Neighbors tell FOX 12 the home was for sale, and at the time thought the group of people who showed up at the home were movers, turns out they were stealing appliances from inside.
"They backed up their truck to the garage, loaded stuff in, covered it up with a tarp, and then boom they were gone," said neighbor Sonia McDowell.
Detectives quickly moved in on the home and say they arrested Christopher Jacobo, 20, in connection with the burglary. They were able to then link Jacobo to John Copeland, 33, and other area burglaries, according to investigators.
The Gresham Police Department says they got a search warrant for a residence in the 2900 block of NE 13th St. in Gresham. The warrant was executed in mid-January and several stolen items were recovered, including items from the Bellamy and Son burglary as well as other burglaries from Gresham and other counties.
Through further investigation, investigators identified a third suspect, Mark Booker, 48, and got a search warrant to check out his home on the 2900 block of NE Division Street last week.
Police say once inside of Booker's home they recovered thousands of dollars worth of stolen property tied to burglaries in Troutdale, Clackamas County and several in Gresham.
In all, six people were busted in the major burglary operation:
Bonnie Lyn Mata
Richard Allen Lepore
Mark A Booker
Joseph G Schwab
Christopher A Jacobo
Steven K Davila
Police believe more arrests are only to come.
"I'm really relieved, and really really pleased with the Gresham Police Department, said McDowell. "I think they've done a wonderful job here.
Gresham Police say they are still looking for Copeland who is indicted in this case. If you see him they ask that you call 911 right away.
Copyright 2014 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.
Thursday, July 31 2014 11:57 AM EDT2014-07-31 15:57:19 GMT
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