Less than a week after breaking up a major burglary and fencing operation January 17 at 4312 West Congress Parkway involving over $100,000 worth of goods stolen mainly from homes in Austin, 15th District police have done it again.
On January 22, tactical officers from the 15th District executed another search warrant, this time in the 5400 block of West Crystal Street and arrested Claude McKay, Jr., 65, charging him with three misdemeanor counts of Theft-Control of Stolen Property, one felony count of Possession of a Controlled Substance, and Possession of a Firearm without valid FOID. Two guns were seized in the raid.
Police told THE VOICE they were tipped off to this fencing operation by a person arrested in the Congress Parkway bust earlier in the week. The haul of recovered goods was even larger on Crystal with police estimating the total value at over $125,000. They said that stolen items filled the residence, garage, and two vans parked outside McKay’s home.
Officers conducted a systematic search of McKay’s residence, recovering two handguns, ammunition, and five grams of heroin, along with an array of stolen goods. Among the items recovered are power tools, toolboxes, bicycles, and snow blowers. There are even a cement finisher, an arc welder, ladders, and a surveyor.
The tactical team was under the direction of Lt. Stevens. Officer Phil Paolino told THE VOICE that McKay would apparently buy stolen goods from local drug addicts or trade drugs for the items. McKay allegedly has a booth at Swap-O-Rama Flea Market, but was unable to sell the stolen items because of the economic recession.
Persons wishing to learn if any of the recovered property is theirs should call the detectives investigating their cases at the Area Property Crimes Unit in which the theft was reported. All items are inventoried and kept in the Police Bulk Storage Warehouse at Homan Square. Refer to the case number on the police report.