CALIFORNIA, Pa. (KDKA) — The California Army & Navy surplus store in Washington County was raided Thursday by NCIS and detectives from the Washington County District Attorney’s Office.
Investigators found more than $750,000 worth of stolen military gear, according to D.A. Eugene Vittone.
“It was much more than we ever expected to seize,” Vittone told KDKA-TV’s Ralph Iannotti.
Most of the items were brand new, many still in unwrapped packages.
NCIS has been investigating a string of burglaries at the Marine base at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.
Vittone says charges are pending in the case.
A confidential informant was cited in court documents as someone who repeatedly contacted the store owner, Thomas Miske, who reportedly agreed to buy the merchandise knowing it was stolen.
A criminal complaint says Miske had made numerous previous purchases of stolen gear from the military. But Miske backed out of the deal at the last minute on Wednesday after texting the informant, “we have to cancel everything, can’t get anything.”
Hours later, his business was raided.
The store’s co-owner, Michael Miske, denies any criminal wrongdoing.