Local police recovered over $8,000 worth of stolen merchandise from two burglaries that happened earlier this month, and authorities say they are narrowing in on suspects in the crimes.
Whitley County Deputy Sheriff Ron Bowling said about $11,800 worth of power tools, compressors, firearms and jewelry were taken from a home on Black Diamond Road on or about Nov. 13. A weeklong investigation into the case revealed that many of the items had been taken to local pawnshops.
"There was a lot of stuff missing. It was in excess of 20 items," Bowling said. "During the course of the investi gation we received full cooperation from all the pawn shop operators involved. They were very helpful."
Included among the items stolen was a 20 hp, 10,000 watt Honda generator that weighed over 900 lbs, Bowling estimated. Because of the size of some of the items taken, police believe more than one person may be involved.
Many of the items recovered were discovered in four pawnshops, two inside the city limits of Corbin and two in Laurel County. Bowling said Laurel County Sheriff’s Deputy Milton Storms recovered about $2,200 worth of the items from the two pawnshops in Laurel County.
Recovered was as chainsaw, compressor, hand tools, power tools, winches, paint sprayers and the 10,000 watt generator valued at around $5,000. Bowling said the generator retails for around $10,000 new. It had about eight hours of use on it.
Also recovered was a .38 caliber Smith and Wesson pistol manufactured in the mid 1990s. Bowling said he was able to obtain the serial number for the firearm from the dealer who originally sold it.
"It was just a good example of two agencies from different counties cooperating," Bowling said. "We are still investigating and hope to bring those responsible to justice."
Bowling said police took as evidence pawn tickets and surveillance video of the transactions where the stolen items were pawned.
On average, the items were sold for about 30 percent of their actual value. The generator was pawned for $300 – six percent of its value.
"I think the fact that they took six cents on the dollar for something like that tells you how desperate these guys are," Bowling said. "Luckily it had been pawned so it wasn’t available for sale yet or we may have never recovered it."
An investigation into the Black Diamond Road burglary and a similar theft on Incline Road is ongoing.