Patrolman Nick Ekovich was walking through the Huntington Beach neighborhood Sunday night, searching for someone who might have seen the burglar who had broken into an apartment on Leslie Lane a few hours earlier.
No, said a neighbor Ekovich questioned, he hadn't seen anything. But while you're here, he asked Ekovich, can't you do something about getting rid of that recreational vehicle? It's been parked there on the street two weeks.
It turned out to be more of a tip than Ekovich had thought, police said.
According to a police spokeswoman, Ekovich went up to the vehicle and noticed lying near its door an owner's manual for an appliance, one of which was stolen from the apartment a few hours earlier.
A woman inside the vehicle took the officer to a garage her husband rented nearby, and there, the spokeswoman said, he found the stolen property and arrested the unemployed husband--Robert Elmer Reed, 51--on suspicion of burglary. Reed was being held in the city jail.
The spokeswoman said all of the stolen property--a tape player, jewelry, a telephone, a television, silverware and $1,000 cash--was recovered.
Police said Reed and his wife had been living in the recreational vehicle. They said they found other property in the garage--some valuable, some not--and could not say whether it was stolen.