COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS — A strange series of events involving a man on parole for robbery led to the discovery of tens of thousands of dollars in stolen vehicles and equipment Tuesday.
The incident began about 5:30 a.m. when a man called 911 reporting that another man had pointed a gun at a woman and both had run off, said Cottonwood Heights Police Sgt. Corbett Ford. The brandishing allegedly happened outside a vacant home at 3107 E. Creek Road.
The caller, who Ford said has a history of drug abuse, was not cooperative about giving information once officers arrived. As of Tuesday afternoon, neither the woman nor the man had been found.
As officers were checking the area, they were concerned that the alleged gunman had run inside the house to hide.
SWAT team members from Cottonwood Heights, Sandy and South Jordan were called to surround it. Tear gas was eventually deployed into the residence as the SWAT team went through it looking for the man. No one was found inside, Ford said.
However, officers did find at least four stolen cars, a couple of stolen trailers and stolen construction equipment in the driveway and garage. Police obtained a search warrant for the house and spent several hours Tuesday going through the house seizing stolen property.
In addition, property belonging to the man who originally called police was found inside some of the stolen vehicles, Ford said.
Joshua Thieling, 29, was arrested for investigation of possession of a stolen vehicle, receiving stolen property and trespassing.
Court records show Thieling was convicted in January 2014 of drug possession with intent to distribute, a third-degree felony, and sentenced to up to five years in prison. He was also convicted of attempted robbery in 2009 and sentenced to up to 10 years in prison for that crime, according to court records.
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