Mammoth tusks, ivory recovered from stolen WA U-Haul: ‘The fun part of our job‘

With a hug and extreme gratitude, Olga Borland thanked Det. Riley Myklebust for finding some of her stolen items. "We felt great relief," Borland said.

Last week, FOX 13 News shared video of thieves stealing Olga and her husband Doug’s U-Haul from a hotel parking lot in SeaTac. Inside the U-Haul were items like traditional Russian nesting dolls, hand painted and carved chess sets and mammoth tusks and ivory. All of the items collectively worth $150,000.

The couple own and operate the Russian American Company in Alaska that imports worldwide gifts and collectables.

"We’re people from a small town. We’re naïve, we don’t lock the doors, we don’t lock the cars, so that felt like violence when things were stolen," Borland said.

After FOX 13 News’ story aired, someone called our newsroom and told us they had some of those items. FOX 13 News passed that tip along to investigators, and it turned out to be legitimate.

"We recovered over two-thirds of the merchandise," Borland said.

Detective Myklebust with the King County Sheriff’s Office said that tip, along with others, helped them get a search warrant, where they found 68 boxes filled with the stolen items.

"Today we were able to do the fun part of our job and see victims get their property back," Myklebust said.

Right now, no one is in custody for this, and an investigation is still underway, but Myklebust revealed some details about who they’ve got their eye on.

"They are well-known in the area and have been wanted in other crimes throughout the area, and in serving the search warrant, we were able to talk with people who wanted to cooperate after seeing the news story and help this couple out," Myklebust said.

The next step will be to arrest them, he said.

In the meantime, investigators now have a reminder of the work they did, and it comes in the form of a Russian doll. "That will sit on our desk and just remind us of them and the work we put in to give them their stuff back," Myklebust said.


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