The Gila County Sheriff's Office believes someone in Tonto Village got a great deal on a TV, VCR and DVD player. What they may not know is that these items were stolen from a home in Geronimo estates two weeks ago.
Sept. 2, while the owner was away, a residence in Geronimo estates was burglarized. A suspicious vehicle, described as a dark, older-model van, was seen in the area.
"We put out an ATL -- an attempt to locate on the van," GCSO Det. Brian Havey said. "On Sept. 5, the mother of the burglary victim spotted the van driving west on the control road."
The sheriff's office was called and Havey said officers located the van driving through Pine.
"The suspect ran out of gas and pulled over," Havey said.
Ryan Loucks, 33, of Flagstaff, was identified as the alleged burglar when officers found other items in his van that were identified as stolen from the residence.
"The victim was called to the area where he recovered approximately 15 to 20 items that were taken," Havey said.
Still missing are a 27-inch TV, a VCR and a DVD player.
"Information we received leads us to believe these items were possibly sold at the Double D Bar in Tonto Village," Havey said. "The suspect said he spent a couple of days out there drinking."
Loucks was arrested for possession of stolen property and burglary, and officers got a search warrant for the van.
"We recovered several fossils and Indian artifacts," Havey said.
Officers from the U.S. Forest Service were called in and identified about 500 limestone rocks with fossils and around 20 Indian artifacts.
"There were spear points and arrowheads," Havey said.
Forest Service officers told Havey that there is a national investigation going on concerning theft of Indian artifacts and fossils from U.S. property.
Loucks was released from jail when the County Attorney's office was unable to meet the deadline to file a complaint.
Charges can be refiled if a complaint is filed and officers can locate Loucks, who has a lengthy criminal history in several states.
Havey asks anyone who might know something about the stolen property or who might have inadvertently purchased it, to contact the Sheriff's office at (928) 474-2208.