SANTA ROSA – When a thief steals property, unless he is after the items himself (or herself) the first problem they usually encounter after a successful theft is what to do with the stuff. In the old days, it usually meant a pawnshop or a “fence”. Of course, pawnshops today have a lot of protections built in that track items brought to them, and they share their inventory with local law enforcement, so that is not usually a reliable option. A fence – or criminal specializing in buying and selling stolen property – may be less risky, but you’d have to find a successful one “under the radar”, and due to the risk they take, pay far less than market value for the goods.
And then there’s the internet. A clever thief can find direct buyers for their goods through sites like Craigslist, Amazon, and ebay, but victims and police have become aware of those practices as well, and often search for someone selling their missing items, and finding a match, nab the criminal. Ross Hoon of Santa Rosa may have thought he had a great idea by selling stolen items at a garage sale, but then he went and posted pictures on his Craigslist ad to promote the sale, and the victim saw it and recognized his missing property.
The 30-year-old Hoon had used his position as a one time employee of a storage facility in Novato to fill his garage with 2 pickup truck loads of property taken from units in the business. It is not clear if he was employed there while he broke in and took the items, or if it may have been a parting gesture when he left the business.
According to the Sonoma County Sheriff’s office, the victim had seen his missing property on the Craigslist ad last Sunday, and reported it to the Sheriff’s office. The ad read “Come check us out we have all kinds great items for sale. from fun GUY STUFF like TOOLS, a big kennedy PUSH CART TOOL BOX, paint ball GUNS and gear, KNIFES, a BOW and ARROWS, archery stuff and MENS JEWELRY. we got POTTERY, CLOSE and JEWELRY for the ladies. great prices and lots of inventory plus MUCH MUCH MORE… like a RARE to the united states german made BABY GRAND PIANO. just follow the SINGNS once in the MOBILE HOME PARK first left third house down. oh and i do have other things for sale just ask ROSS when you get here, SEE YA SOON”
Sheriff’s deputies arrived for the big sale at 8:20 am on Sunday, and asked for Ross. He greeted them armed with a handgun, though he did not brandish the weapon at them. He may have been carrying it for his own security, or perhaps as an item to sell, as he also had several stolen firearms and an illegal assault rifle. A search of the property and residence uncovered the 2 truckloads of loot as well. Hoon was also forthcoming, admitting to them that he was indeed selling the items he had stolen from his former employer’s storage facility.
He was arrested and booked at Sonoma County on charges of possession of stolen property, being armed in the commission of a felony, possession of an assault weapon, and carrying a concealed firearm. The actual burglary from the storage location in Novato is being investigated by the Marin County Sheriff’s office since it occurred in their county jurisdiction. Property crimes detectives were brought out to process the follow up investigation.