Lawrence Police again confiscated merchandise from the Yellow House secondhand store, 1904 Mass., after hearing that a local resident found her stolen property there.
Police arrived at the store around noon Saturday and found assorted lawn and garden equipment that Lawrence resident Niki Christopher had reported stolen after a theft late last month.
"We found merchandise that we believe belonged to her," Police Sgt. Paul Fellers said at the scene.
It is at least the second time this summer police have been called to the store because merchandise reported stolen was found there.
The find also came just one day after federal agents and police officers served search warrants on the store in relation to an ongoing fencing investigation that surfaced last December.
Police have called sales conducted by Yellow House owners Guy and Carrie Neighbors a sophisticated fencing operation in which store employees buy and resell stolen goods at the store and through the online auction site eBay.
Saturday's search began after Christopher posted a request on the local chat site Larryville.com, asking that anyone with information about her stolen equipment contact her, she said.
Soon after, she heard that the equipment, including an electric saw and other lawn tools, were spotted at the secondhand store.
Both Fellers and Christopher said Carrie Neighbors, who was at the store on Saturday, was very cooperative and quickly turned over the merchandise.
"They were very nice," Christopher said of Yellow House employees.
More about the Yellow House probe
- FBI clears Lawrence Police of impersonation allegation (07-08-06)
- 6News video: FBI dismiss Lawrence police, step in to investigation (07-07-06)
- Police review board possible (06-21-06)
- Police search Yellow House in stolen goods investigation (05-09-06)
- Fliers provide false information about Yellow House probe (04-14-06)
Neighbors said some local roofers sold her the property after basically begging her to take the items.
"It was a pity buy," Neighbors said. "You can't trust anybody anymore."
Neighbors also said police found two marijuana plants at her home during a search Friday. She said the plants were small and should not merit felony charges.
Fellers said he did not have access to information about the marijuana seizure and could not comment.
Police conducted a similar search of the Yellow House store May 8 after a stolen air compressor found its way there.
That investigation included a search of financial documents and records associated with the ongoing fencing probe.
The Neighbors and their attorney, Sarah Swain, have accused the police department of violating their basic civil rights, and have said that eight months of searching without filing charges constituted harassment.
Swain and a private investigator also obtained at least one sworn affidavit claiming that Lawrence Police officers posed as FBI agents in an attempt to pressure people into selling stolen goods to the store.
The FBI cleared the police of all wrongdoing Friday.
Saturday, Fellers said the appropriate paperwork would be completed and possibly passed along to officers conducting the larger fencing investigation.
However, Fellers said he didn't believe the incidents were directly related.