Determination and good detective work led to the recovery of nearly $200,000 worth of medical supplies this morning from an entrepreneur attempting to sell the items online.
Deputies from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff Station’s J-Team concluded a four week investigation early this morning with the service of a search warrant in the 21000 block of Kingscrest Road in Saugus.
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Sgt. Bob Wachsmutch, who led the investigation, said that detectives received a tip a month ago about suspicious activity around the home and started gathering information.
“We were told that there were some unusual things he had been seeing and were able to develop enough information to get a search warrant,” Wachsmutch said. The warrant was served at the Saugus house shortly before 8 a.m. Wednesday
Through the investigation, they learned that a Saugus man was believed to be in possession of several temporary mobile medical triage units, portable air conditioning and filtration systems and miscellaneous equipment used by hospitals in the event of a major emergency or disaster.
Detectives had been in contact with a supplier in Ohio who had reported the items missing nearly two years ago when a shipment to Southern California was interrupted and the items taken. Much of the equipment was ordered by Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital, who informed the distributor of the shortages and received replacement items to complete their order.
Wednesday morning, four inflatable triage tents, blowers, lighting and air purification systems were recovered at the home of Derek Gainer, 39, who was arrested. Gainer was booked at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station on suspicion of felony grand theft and receiving stolen property. He also had an outstanding warrant for grand theft in the amount of $30,000. He is being held in lieu of $130,000 bail pending future court proceedings.
Wachsmutch said that additional charges may be added to Gainer’s sheet because of the questionable cleanliness of the home, where he lived with his two young daughters.
“There’s a possibility that he had an unfit home, because from one end of the house to the other, there were piles of dirty clothes,” he said. “I feel bad for those girls and want to see what I can get done on their behalf.”
The girls were removed from the home and taken in by relatives.
Officials from Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital are working closely with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station as the investigation continues into exactly how and when the equipment went missing.
At the location deputies also recovered a box trailer, a recreational vehicle trailer, and two jet skis they believe are stolen.
The investigation is ongoing and there is no further information available at this time. Anyone with information should contact Sergeant Wachsmuth at (661) 799-2310.