Jeff Humphrey, Media Manager, 509.625.6308
Friday, October 18, 2019 at 11:09 a.m.
After deputies arrested Christopher W. Summa on a series of theft charges, the Spokane Police Department Property Crimes Unit set out to return some of the valuables stolen from Summa’s alleged victims.
“So the detectives decided to go ahead and apply for a search warrant to try and recover as much property as we could from all those crimes,” explained Sgt. Brian Eckersley of the Spokane Police Department.
The search finds Summa’s home and garage stacked with power tools and sporting goods.
“Clearly, by the type of items they are, the condition they are in, we know they are stolen. So for us, it’s going to be the process of looking through those to try and prove they are stolen and find the owners. That’s going to take a long time,” advised Eckersley.
Detectives then began to cross-reference valuables they found around Summa’s place with recent burglary reports.
That’s when police called Charlie Toillion about coming to the scene to retrieve his missing golf clubs.
Toillion had taken the precaution of labeling his golf equipment with his name and phone number.
That same night, detectives also recovered a trio of Toillion’s stolen road bikes.
“Having your golf clubs back and having your bicycles back, like this is a really great thing and so I would definitely make sure, if you have bicycles, locate those serial numbers, jot them down, put them in a safe place, so you can pull them out if your items are gone,”Toillion recommended.
Police can also use serial numbers to find out if thieves have pawned your stolen property.
“If someone says, ‘hey officer I’m missing this television’, and gives me the serial number, I can just go to a database, plug it in and find out exactly where and when it was pawned. Recover it, and figure out who the bad guy is,” Eckersley said.
The majority of items recovered from Summa’s home were power tools; the stuff contractors use to make an honest day’s living.
“That’s why it’s important for them to engrave things, write their company name on them or initials, or something like that to help identify it,” said Eckersley.
If you can identify your stolen property, not only can your get valuables back, but also help send a suspected, serial burglar like Summa back to prison.
“We’re happy with what we got for sure but we know we left a lot of stolen property. We left stacks of stolen property there because we can’t prove it’s stolen,” Eckersley lamented.
For more information about safeguarding your home and valuables, visit https://www.spokanecops.org