Police recovered about $10,000 worth of items that were stolen from businesses by people living in a homeless encampment in San Bernardino, according to the San Bernardino Police Department.
On Jan. 18, the P.D.’s Southern District Resource Team conducted a follow-up investigation into several recent commercial burglaries at businesses bordering the Santa Ana riverbed. Believing the crimes were being committed by transients camping in the riverbed, the team deployed on foot in search of evidence from the crimes.
A sizable transient encampment was located, and several high-value items were found in plain view. These items included Milwaukee drills, Stihl chainsaws, concrete saws, and hydraulic cutting tools.
In addition, a large quantity of new and used construction equipment was found and taken as safekeeping until investigators could identify the rightful owners.
Also, officers located more than a dozen laptops, cell phones, iPads, and point-of-sale devices believed stolen during the recent commercial burglaries. The victims of the burglaries were identified, and their property was returned.
Three suspects were arrested on felony charges, police said.
The camps have been reported to San Bernardino County Public Works to be cleaned in the upcoming days. Additional follow-up investigations will be conducted with the assistance of the District Crimes detectives and Crime Analysis Unit.
Anyone with information regarding the stolen property can contact Sergeant Anna McKenna at (909) 384-4885. The criminal cases will be forwarded to the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office for filing.