A tip led Lodi police Wednesday to a home containing several dozen car stereos, countless more speakers and numerous other goods, which investigators believe were stolen.
Two residents of the Iris Drive condo were arrested, and police spent hours pulling electronic goods out of the garage and home, then taking it to the police station for documentation. They also found what police believe is methamphetamine, said Detective Steve Maynard.
John Milton West, 43, and Adonya Cherie Buzinis, 36, were both booked into the Lodi jail on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance. West is also accused of possessing the stolen property. Criminal charges will be determined by prosecutors when the two appear in court.
The matter started around 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, when detectives went to the home in the 1600 block of Iris Drive to follow up on a tip that West might have stolen property. He allegedly tried to hide a drug pipe, and then investigators saw numerous stereos and speakers in the garage, Maynard said.
They arrested West and locked down the house while officers wrote a search warrant, got it signed by a judge and then returned to look more closely at the items.
Detectives pulled at least 19 car stereos and a couple dozen speakers out of the house, then began hauling out more speakers and electronic items. A wooden box contained at least half a dozen cell phones, and two laptops were also in the mix. One box contained vehicle seat headrests with TV screens mounted in them.
"We're going to need a lot more space," Officer Robert Rench said at one point as he piled stereos on the home's driveway.
The home was one of several tidy condos in a nice neighborhood off Ham Lane. The electronics were later loaded into police vehicles and stored in the department's property room.
Police will now document the serial number on each item and cross reference them with police reports in an attempt to determine if any of the items were stolen. That is often a challenge, Maynard said, because most people don't keep the original boxes or note the serial numbers of their electronic items — and only realize the importance when their vehicle is burglarized.
"It's a piece of cake for us to track it if we have a serial number," Maynard said.
He wondered if any of the stereos were stolen in a recent rash of auto burglaries around town, but that was still under investigation Wednesday evening.
Police plan to hold a viewing of the property for burglary victims, Detective Eric Bradley said. The date and time will be announced this week or next week, once all the property has been documented and investigators have tried to link it to any other crimes or suspects.
Contact reporter Layla Bohm at firstname.lastname@example.org.