ST. LOUIS - From the outside, Anthony Auto Sales in the 3700 block of Bates St. looks like just another used car lot.
But for at least the last three years, St. Louis County Police believe something illegal has been happening at the Holly Hills business.
“They’re pretty good at what they’re doing. They’re definitely not amateurs,” said Officer Ben Granda.
On Friday, May 19, dozens of detectives raided the property and discovered boxes upon boxes of expensive materials hidden away from floor to ceiling inside a garage.
It’s believed all of the merchandise was stolen right out of new or remodeled homes.
“We found items from thermostats and doorbells to light fixtures to very high dollar refrigerators, stoves and appliances,” Granda said.
Investigators said the raid stems from a long investigation into a pattern of reported thefts at various construction sites across the region.
They believe since 2014, four men have been breaking into homes at various stages of construction and stealing items inside that belong to contractors and home builders.
All the thefts have been in St. Louis City, St. Louis County, St. Charles County, Jefferson County and St. Clair County, Missouri.
Police said the stolen merchandise was either sold or installed in other properties.
“There’s a chance there are citizens out there living in new homes with stolen items taken from other homes, completely unbeknownst to that new home owner,” Granda said.
As for everything else? It ended up tucked away and hidden at the used car lot.
Neighbors from the area who saw the police activity were shocked to hear about the accusations.
“I’ve never known of anything going on over there. They’re really quiet,” said Crowlan Demonico.
34-year-old Timothy Nash has been charged with six counts of second-degree burglary and six counts of felony stealing. He's being held on a $50,000 cash-only bond.
Any contractor or home builder who believes their materials or merchandise may have been stolen as part of this burglary ring is encouraged to locate some proof of ownership and contact county police.
Granda said some of the stolen items have already been returned, but work will take weeks, if not months, to return the rest.
Photos: 2017 STL area mug shots
© 2017 KSDK-TV