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Crime & Justice

West Side deputies sift through two truckloads of stolen items following Woodland Hills arrest

An “arduous investigation” by West Side sheriff’s detectives has led to the recovery of two truckloads of personal items stolen from residences, commerical properties and storage units around the region. But it may be just as arduous getting all those items back to their rightful owners.

According to investigators from the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station, authorities looking into a string of residential and commercial burglaries received a tip leading them to a parolee named Richard Traber. They followed up, and on May 15 entered his Woodland Hills home to find much of the stolen property they were looking for.

In fact, Traber’s home, where he had been living for only two months, was stuffed full of electronics, antiques, paintings, hair products -- “so many different things,” Sheriff’s Det. Ginni Alvarez told KPCC.

“It was just a hodgepodge of assorted items,” she said. “No rhyme or reason, they were just strewn about the home.”

Alvarez said Traber is an opportunist who “burglarizes at random. ... He doesn’t really have an m.o. like a lot of burglars do.”

Traber’s girlfriend, Colette Kurtz, was also arrested May 15 on charges of receiving stolen property, authorities said. She was released after posting bail, but Traber remains in custody.

Authorities said most of the burglaries occurred at various private and commercial properties -- such as the Public Storage facility in Calabasas, located at 23811 Ventura Blvd. -- between March and April. The victims are believed to be from communities all over the West Side.

Deputies still want to get the victims their stuff back, and are hosting a public viewing next weekend to help make that happen. Anyone hoping to reclaim items stolen in a recent burglary is invited to stop by the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station parking lot, located at 27050 Agoura Road in Calabasas, on Saturday, June 9 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Alvarez also offered the following advice for people coming to the viewing: “Bring some kind of proof of ownership, such as a police report, pictures, receipts -- something to match them to the property.”