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Police recover $750K in stolen military property from California surplus store

| Friday, Nov. 15, 2013, 7:20 a.m.

Stolen military property valued at more than $750,000 was confiscated from a California Borough surplus store, Washington County District Attorney Gene Vittone said Thursday.

Vittone said a months-long investigation by the Marine Corps, Naval Criminal Investigation Service and Washington County detectives led to the recovery of the merchandise from the California Army Navy Store.

Vittone said authorities executed a search warrant Wednesday night at the 1148 Wood St. store, following “an extensive investigation into the theft and selling of stolen property.”

He said the recovered items included cold weather clothing, uniforms, knives, tents, sleeping gear and systems helmets.

“As a prosecutor, it is rewarding to me to work with and assist United States law enforcement agencies to recover property belonging not just to the taxpayers of Washington County but to the citizens of the United States,” Vittone said in a statement.

He noted the cooperation between local law enforcement and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

“My hopes were to recover some of what was stolen, but what we ultimately got was beyond my expectations,” Vittone said. “Credit for this is due to the fine professional investigation launched by NCIS agents and the work of deputy District Attorney Chad Schneider and our county detectives,” he said.

Vittone said he could not comment further, but said the investigation is ongoing. NCIS officials will release more information at a later date.

Vittone said charges are pending against the store owners, who were not identified.

According to the Washington County Real Estate Tax website, the building is owned by Michael Miske Jr. and Cecilia Miske. It is not known if they own the business.

Stacy Wolford is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-684-2640 or at swolford@tribweb.com.

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