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Police: Chesterfield thief stole hundreds of tools worth $250K

Posted at 4:14 PM, Feb 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-28 17:17:38-05

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. – Police recovered hundreds of stolen tools worth an estimated $250,000 from a Chesterfield home earlier this week.

Investigators say they received a report that a known suspect was selling stolen tools from their residence in the Mason Woods neighborhood.

After serving a warrant, the Chesterfield Police property crimes division spent several hours at a home in the 6700 block of Mason Valley Drive on Tuesday, February. 25.

During the search, hundreds of stolen tools including generators, power tools and other yard equipment were recovered. Amilcar D. Palucho, 43, was arrested and charged with felony receiving stolen goods and felony larceny with intent to sell.

Police say additional charges are pending.

Neighbors say that every Sunday, the man loaded up the goods and took them to the flea market to sell.

Since the bust, detectives and police have worked to transport, sort, document and store the items, which are valued at roughly $250,000.

Investigators reunited area contractors with more than $100,000 worth of stolen tools inside a building at the Chesterfield County Fairgrounds.

“Detectives are documenting all serial numbers on the tools and working to match them to items that have been reported stolen; when a match is made, a detective will contact the owner of the stolen property,” said a Chesterfield Police spokesperson.

If you recently reported tools stolen to your local police department and were unable to provide serial numbers but have other identifiers for the items, please email that identifying information to PDCIDProperty@chesterfield.gov.

In the email, include your report number and the best way to contact you.

'I'm really glad he got busted'

Chesterfield detectives delivered some good news Wednesday to several area contractors: they would be reunited with thousands of dollars of tools that were stolen and recovered earlier this week.

Robert Norton, whose tools were swiped from his trailer the day after Christmas was reunited with them two months later.

About 90 percent of Norton's stolen tools were laid out on tables inside a building at the Chesterfield County Fairgrounds Wednesday.

"Alright, so this is my laser level, probably the most important one," Norton said, holding the tool in his hand.

Police believe he's one of many victims of Amilcar Palucho, who was arrested Tuesday.

"Especially all the tools that he had,” said Norton. “I swear, I'm really glad he got busted. There are going to be some extremely happy contractors to get their stuff back."

But what bothers Norton most, is that Palucho lives right up the street.

"I come up and down this street every day, and I’m wondering if he saw my trailer and just followed me to the job,” Norton said.

Norton's trailer was broken into Christmas day, forcing him to use his credit card to buy more tools so he could finish jobs and continue to provide for his young family.

Norton has advice for other contractors: "Definitely label your stuff. I also started taking pics of serial numbers just so I have that as a backup."