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Rohnert Park man held in tool thefts

A Rohnert Park man with outstanding warrants was arrested Saturday after being found with a large trove of stolen tools.

Joel Thomas Theiss, 30, was taken into custody by Rohnert Park police outside the Budget Inn, where he was staying.

The investigation led Sonoma County Sheriff's detectives to search his room, where they found dozens of power tools, wire and other items that appeared to have been stolen from work trucks, said sheriff's Sgt. Michael Raasch.

Many of the tools had other people's names written on them, while others were inscribed with company names, such as PG&E, Raasch said.

A subsequent search of Theiss' storage shed in Santa Rosa uncovered a large number of similar items. All told, detectives estimated Theiss had "several hundred" stolen tools in his possession, Raasch said.

Detectives have been able to return some of the tools to their owners, but are now looking for other victims. Many of the tools appear to have been stolen from company trucks that workers had taken home, he said.

Detectives urged people to mark their tools with their name and keep a record of the serial numbers, which can be entered into a state-wide database to help their recovery, Raasch said.

In addition to the warrants, Theiss was arrested on drug possession charges. He is expected to face several additional theft charges related to the tools, Raasch said.

Potential victims in the case are encouraged to contact Det. Ryan Russell at 565-2517.


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