Hundreds of stolen items found in Centennial storage unit; police try to reunite items with owners

CENTENNIAL, Colo. - Hundreds of stolen goods found in a storage unit are linked to nearly 60 crimes in the Denver metro area since September.

Police are now trying to reunite the stolen items with their rightful owners.

The East Metro Auto Theft Team helped uncover the stolen goods as part of an investigation that started in October. The task force investigated a group of individuals for car thefts, car and home burglaries and stealing delivery packages in September and October.

On Oct. 22, the auto theft team arrested 20-year-old Erin Lee Smith. Police said they caught him in a stolen car near Sixth Avenue and Uvalda Street in Aurora.

Days later, the auto theft team searched two storage units at a self-storage facility in Centennial. One of the units was full of more than 600 items of stolen property. Police have been able to identify less than half of the valuables, so a website has been created showing the stolen items with the hopes of having the victims recognize their own items.

The website address is: http://hrssdsm.douglas.co.us/EMATT/content/index.html

On Nov. 7, the auto theft team arrested 24-year-old Alexis Triplett.

Police said they suspect at least 57 total crimes were committed involving the stolen goods:

-26 home burglaries

-8 car thefts

-8 thefts

-6 thefts from vehicle

-3 credit card frauds

-3 ID frauds

-3 vehicular eluding from police

7NEWS tracked down some of the victims of the home burglaries in Centennial who did not know their items were on the website.

"Yup, that's our TV. How about that?" said burglary victim Dan Sage.

"That's my jewelry box, those two right here," said Peg Sage.

The Sages were burglarized in October. They said someone broke in through the kitchen window and stole their television, two laptops, other electronics and jewelry.

About a mile-and-a-half away, Troy Sosamon was also robbed on the same day, with the burglars also breaking in through their the kitchen window.

"Every drawer in the house was dumped on the floor. All the stuff in the closets was thrown out on the floor. They were looking for small, shiny hidden things," said Sosamon.

He had identified at least 25 items on the website that were likely stolen from his home.

"This little box here, I didn't remember it was gone until you see it here in the picture," said Sosamon.

"This jewelry box, my dad had given me from Germany when I was a little kid. That made me really happy to see that they had recovered that," said Diane Bailey.

According to Sosamon and Bailey, the burglars are believed to have been in their home between one and two hours.

"They had time. They weren't just smash-and-grab, they were looking for things," said Sosamon.

"I'm just glad that we might have a chance of recovering (our stuff). My question is, 'Do we ever get it back?'"

7NEWS asked Aurora Police how someone might get their stolen item back if it doesn't have a serial number attached.

According to police, an email account has been set up for anyone that is able to identify stolen property.

The email address is reserved for those who previously reported a crime and have a case number. Victims who never reported their missing items are asked to file a report with their local law enforcement before reaching out to the auto theft task force.

The e-mail set up for this case is EMATT@auroragov.org

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