With guns drawn, Pottawatomie County sheriff's deputies surrounded a rural McLoud mobile home Wednesday to serve a search warrant, where they discovered a stolen boat belonging to a Tecumseh couple murdered in 2010.
The raid occurred about 1 p.m .Wednesday at 10 Antler Blvd., a rural area south of the Wes Watkins Reservoir, with deputies also recovering stolen property that could be related to a theft ring, said Sheriff Mike Booth.
Deputy Josh Soward worked the initial report that evolved into further investigation by him and Lt. Matt Byers, Booth said. That probe included a tip that deputies would find stolen property at the residence, he said, including a Bayliner boat stolen from the home of Gary and Linda Haas, who were murdered by prison escapees while vacationing in New Mexico three years ago.
When deputies converged to serve the warrant at the residence, yelling "sheriff's office, search warrant," their guns were drawn.
"We don't want to take any chances — we always hope for the best and expect the worst… and we always go in as if we're going to meet the worst," the sheriff said.
As the scene unfolded, a male from inside the home immediately fled out a back door, Booth said, but Lt. Jimmy Brewer had the back door covered and detained that person for questioning.
As the search warrant of the home and outbuildings commenced, Booth said they immediately found the boat and confirmed it as stolen property of the Haas family.
Deputies also found and seized parts belonging to various cars and motorcycles, so further investigation is being done.
"We're concerned about a potential chop shop situation because of the all the parts and pieces of vehicles," Booth said.
Other items of stolen property were recovered at the scene. Everything from TVs to tools, jewelry and other items were seized in an attempt to identify them, Booth said.
As deputies searched the home, conditions and safety concerns also prompted them to call DHS since four children reside in that home, the sheriff said.
"There were syringes found, a small amount of meth and lots of prescription drugs to people we don't know," Booth said.
Arrested at the scene was the reported homeowner Ginger May, 40, Booth said. May was booked into the Pottawatomie County Public Safety Center on complaints of knowingly concealing stolen property, child neglect and possession of controlled dangerous substance, according to jail records. Formal charges have not been filed.
Authorities also detained and questioned several other people who were in the home at the time of the raid. Booth indicated most were in the wrong place at the wrong time although he said one other arrest was expected as the result of an outstanding warrant.
Page 2 of 2 - The ski boat that prompted the search warrant in the first place was reportedly among items stolen from the home of Gary and Linda Haas, who were murdered in 2010. Their daughter, Cathy Byus, of Shawnee, was murdered in Shawnee earlier this year.
"That boat is confirmed to be stolen from their residence," Booth said at the scene, adding a probe is still ongoing to find other stolen property that belonged to that family.
Further investigation is also being done relating to other stolen property found at the home and a possible connections to a theft ring being probed by deputies.
Watch for updates.