The Hoquiam Police Department nabbed what they describe as a prolific vehicle prowler. Police Chief Jeff Myers tells us they’ve linked 26 year old Troy N. Hodge, of McCleary, to 16 additional vehicle prowls from Aberdeen to Olympia to Centralia.
Myers said he was booked in the Grays Harbor County Jail for possession of stolen property in the second degree. Detective David Blundred continues to work to identify the owners of property recovered during the course of this investigation and associated vehicle prowls in Aberdeen, Cosmopolis, Elma, Shelton, Olympia, Tumwater and Centralia.
On May 25, 2014, Hoquiam officers investigated a reported vehicle prowl in the parking lot of Olympic Stadium. One of the items stolen in the prowl included a MacBook Pro.
Officers used an Apple tracking feature to locate the MacBook in the 400 block of Second Street in McCleary, but were unable to pinpoint the exact location.
Lacey PD officers stopped a stolen vehicle on June 3, 2014 whereby they recovered a MacBook Pro. Lacey’s evidence custodian checked the MacBook in an effort to identify the owner, but instead found data related to Troy Hodge; Hodge was known to reside in the 400 block of Second Street in McCleary.
When Lacey PD contacted Hodge about the MacBook, he was evasive and did not seem to know much about it, which raised the suspicions of the officers. They checked the LINX system (a computer system which links police reports from around the state and the country) and located the reported vehicle prowl in Hoquiam, including the stolen MacBook.
Detective Blundred applied for a search warrant for Hodge’s residence based on the fact the stolen MacBook had been tracked to the area of Hodge’s residence and had been used by Hodge.
During the service of the search warrant at Hodge’s residence in McCleary on June 9, 2014, detectives recovered additional items which had been stolen in the vehicle prowl in Hoquiam. The victim’s wallet was observed in Hodge’s vehicle, therefore the vehicle was impounded and another search warrant was obtained.
During the course of the two search warrants, detectives recovered identification, driver’s licenses, wallets, credit cards, checkbooks, vehicle titles, cell phones, keys, garage door openers, tools, battery chargers, clothing and personal information belonging to numerous victims.
In addition to the stolen property, detectives also recovered key rings with “shaved keys” organized by vehicle brand as well as approximately one thousand assorted keys for vehicles, homes, lock boxes, padlocks and safes. Hodge’s vehicle contained a box of various vehicle make/ model key fobs, garage door openers, slim-jim and other vehicle entry devices.
In checking the victims, Hoquiam detectives were able to link the stolen property to at least sixteen additional vehicle prowls ranging from Aberdeen to Olympia to Centralia. It is suspected there are more victims and cases which were possibly not reported or items recovered which have not been linked to a specific victim at this time.
Detectives believe Hodge traveled around the region in his vehicle, a black 1994 Honda Civic, whereby he engaged in vehicle prowls of cars parked in public parking lots. It appeared Hodge traveled to different areas at different times; therefore many of these crimes were not linked until now.
HPD has submitted a state-wide bulletin to notify other law enforcement agencies of the information.
Detectives continue to work leads and attempt to identify victims; Hodge will be facing additional felony charges to include numerous counts of possession of stolen property.