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Investigators Process Search Warrant Seized Property In GervaisSalem-News.com
Volunteers are working to return calls to possible victims who have left information on that hotline, the police say it is going to take a while.
(GERVAIS, Ore.) - A 15-person Task Force comprised of personnel from the Salem Police Department, Marion County Sheriff's Office, Woodburn Police Department, Clackamas County Sheriff's Office and Oregon State Police are continuing to process and research property seized in search warrants served on the property of Ivan Cam at 9884 Mt Angel-Gervais Rd NE, Gervais.
Salem Police Lt. Dave Okada says this investigation began with the theft of a vehicle from a residential burglary in Salem early last December.
"That vehicle was recovered in the Hubbard area on December 24th 2007, and investigators traced that vehicle back to Ivan Cam's residence on Mt Angel-Gervais Road," Okada said.
Investigators say they developed probable cause to obtain search warrants for Cam's residence and property and seized over 2,400 pieces of suspected property over the next several days.
Pkada says the Task Force began working on sorting through the property on January 14th and has already identified and confirmed over 139 stolen items from various jurisdictions.
"Stolen property has been returned to at least 46 different victims," he said. Okada added that the estimated value is over $25,000.
"At least 20 more victims have also been identified and efforts are currently underway to contact them and return their property to them as soon as possible."
A hotline was established on January 4th for victims to call to inquire about stolen property. That hotline number is 503-540-8079, and to date there have been over 600 calls received.
Okada says volunteers are working to return calls to people who have left information on that hotline, but that process is expected to be a lengthy one because calls continue to come in.
"We request that those who have left messages on the hotline be patient and wait for a call back instead of calling in again. If people have had property stolen and have not yet reported it to a law enforcement agency, they must first make that report to the appropriate law enforcement agency, then call the hotline and provide their name, contact information, name of the law enforcement agency where the report was filed and a case number."
Task Force members are currently performing inquiries based on serial numbers and owner applied numbers (OAN) of the seized property. They say that is the most direct and expedient way to determine if something is stolen or not.
Okada says they are also having law enforcement officers from throughout the region review theft and burglary reports from their respective agencies and then view the seized property to see if they can identify stolen items in that manner.
"This investigation highlights the need for the public to safeguard their property as much as possible to keep it from being stolen. Locking vehicle doors and keeping valuables out of sight are effective ways to keep items from being stolen from a vehicle. By putting property inside the garage and/or residence when they are not actually being used and closing and locking doors is an excellent way to keep items from being stolen from around the home, as many thefts and burglaries are from open and/or unlocked doors and windows."
Okada also says that keeping track of serial numbers and/or applying owner applied numbers such as an ODL on property allows law enforcement agencies to enter stolen property into a national database and makes identifying and recovering stolen property much easier.
The Salem Police Department has engravers that can be borrowed to engrave owner applied numbers onto their property. Also, having a complete description of property and photos of valuables is also a way document your valuables in the case of theft.
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