Pasco man arrested after police bust suspected theft ring

Tri-City HeraldJuly 2, 2014 

Authorities found more than $20,000 worth of stolen items and merchandise at the home of a Pasco man believed to be involved in a retail theft ring, according to Richland police.

The search of Fernando M. Cano's home was the result of a two-month investigation into area retail thefts, Capt. Mike Cobb said.

Cano, 49, was arrested following the search and booked into jail on suspicion of organized retail theft, trafficking stolen property and possession of a stolen firearm.

Authorities found hand tools, lawn care tools, food stamp cards, stolen gift cards, a stolen gun and more than 130 pairs of stolen jeans in a shed on the Pasco property, Cobb said. There was also more than $40,000 in cash found at the house.

When authorities from the Richland Street Crimes Unit and Metro Drug Task Force raided the house June 26, they also arrested Kaleb A. Shaffer, 38, on suspicion of trafficking stolen property, Cobb said. The Pasco man was allegedly trying to sell Cano stolen tools in a nearby alley when police showed up.

Detectives received information in April that Cano had stolen and sold between 150 and 200 pairs of Levi's jeans, Cobb said. He apparently arranged for the jeans to be sold in Mexico.

Police suspected Cano also arranged the theft of gas-powered tools such as line trimmers and chain saws.

Undercover officers then contacted Cano and set up two different sales of more than 40 pairs of jeans, Cobb said. Cano thought the jeans were stolen and asked the officers to get other stolen items for him, Cobb said.

After the controlled buys, authorities searched Cano's home and found the stolen items, including chain saws, leaf blowers, line trimmers, lawn mowers, pressure washers, hedge trimmers and Kobalt tools, Cobb said.

-- Tyler Richardson: 509-582-1556; Twitter; @Ty_richardson

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