On December 22nd, 2018, the Atwater Police Department was alerted by the Merced Police Department that a cache of stolen property was found in a residence in the 1100 block of Vine Street. The Merced Police Department Officers were in the process of serving a search warrant for a non-property crime offense at the residence, when a large amount of “air soft” weapons and equipment were discovered.
[“Air Soft” weapons are replica firearms that shoot soft rubber or foam munitions, and are used not only for law enforcement training but for recreational and team event purposes.] The Merced Police found it odd that the property still had price tags attached, and appeared to have come from a store. Merced Police requested Atwater Police to assist in the investigation.
Atwater Police Officers arrived to assist and took over the property crime aspect of the investigation. Their investigation determined that a Galt area company, American Airsoft, had been the victim of a recent burglary, and that almost $100,000 worth of property had been stolen. The theft occurred in the Sacramento County area adjacent to Galt on December 12, 2018. The crime was being investigated by the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department.
An inventory of the property noted that 341 items, totaling over $60,000 retail value were seized. The owner of American Airsoft was asked to respond to Atwater to identify and take possession of the property. The property was photographed and returned to American Airsoft.
The owner was extremely grateful to the Merced and Atwater Police Departments, an accounting error had caused his insurance to lapse, and a loss of this magnitude endangered his company’s viability.
The identity of the suspects in this crime are being withheld pending the release of further information on the original crime being investigated by the Merced Police Department.
The Atwater Police Department commends the hard work of Merced Police helping to identify and root out criminals in the community.