Crime Trackers: Victims searching for stolen items and answers - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

Crime Trackers: Victims searching for stolen items and answers

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TUCSON - A box trailer filled with family memorabilia was stolen from a midtown home, but was found nine days later empty. The victims, desperate to find the items, are on the hunt. 

They said it’s been an emotional roller coaster since the 2012 burglary. Holding back tears, Kim Williams said, “Pictures of me and my family were stolen, and my parents are gone.”

Gone are jewelry, family heirlooms, and even receipts that were stored in the trailer.  Williams and her partner, Dana Zygmunt, had moved from New York state and all their worldly possessions were in the trailer.

“Dana lost videos of her mom who is now gone, and she'll never get back,” said Williams.

Arizona Department of Public Safety officers found their stolen trailer in the parking lot of a motel off Benson Highway. It was in the dumpster where the victims said they found some of their items.

“A handkerchief from my uncle from the Vietnam war, notes, and that was it, just a little bit,” said Williams.

They returned a few days later to the hotel hoping to find additional items, but instead found a trailer similar to theirs surrounded by vehicles.  They took video of the people surrounding the trailer.

“They came at us, one of them had a sword, there were eight of them,” Williams said.

While calling 911 twice, they witnessed five people get into three vehicles and leave.

She was able to take pictures of license plates as the vehicles took off. Tucson Police showed up and knocked on the doors.  In one room, there was no answer, but the police report said the officers "could see several electronic items on the dresser" through the windows.

They walked the victims to the room, where they claim they saw numerous items.

“I looked at the corner and I just burst into tears," said Williams. "I said, 'Oh my God there's my Green Bay Packer trash can'."

The officers had probable cause and got a search warrant. She said they went inside the room and found more items.

“My partner found some of her Marine belts that were in there," said Williams. "I found a rosary of my mom's and a 100-year-old poetry book of mine.”

Police found three people. One was taken to the Pima County Jail on a felony warrant, the other two were questioned.

In the trailer they found more of their stuff, including a necklace that had her mom's name, and a pink tennis racket.  Police told Williams they found "five stolen guns, some meth, and some pipe and things .”

Williams was told there would be a viewing later so they could take a closer look at the items in the motel room and in the trailer.

However, when police called weeks later, she said she didn’t see any items that were in the motel room.  As for the trailer, Williams said “It hadn't been touched at all.   It was exactly the way we saw it."

In the meantime, the owner of the trailer was identified as Zachary Heston. Williams said he was the one yelling at them, and was among the men who had a sword.

Police reports from Dec. 6, 2012, "He called multiple times attempting to get his trailer and truck back from the impound lot."

He stated he had "receipts, and no items were stolen."

The detective asked repeatedly for Heston to come in so he could be interviewed and to ask him about some of the "victim's items found in his trailer and in the safe." 

He stated, "He was several hundred miles from Tucson and it would be difficult."

He was asked to give an interview over the phone. He replied, "He only wanted his stuff back and was tired of [TPD] lying to him."

He then told the detective he had sold the trailer to a friend two weeks prior, but didn't want to give the name of the friend. 

As for the gun, he said a 'crooked cop' planted it.

He got upset and hung up the phone.

Another police report dated Jan. 20, 2013 stated,"I re-evaluated the items that were in property against the list made by the two victims.  No additional property was located in Mr. Heston's truck and trailer, his property was released back to him."

Williams spoke with a TPD sergeant and lieutenant.

“They told us we weren't going to get our stuff back because it was already given back and we couldn't prove that it was ours anyway,” she said.

As for the necklace with her mom's name and the rosary, “ I never got it back.  We used to sit on my mom's bed and count the rosary beads and that was one of the first things I recognized and they gave that back to Zach Heston. He has that now. “

Months afterwards, out of the blue someone called Williams and told her who had her stuff, describing some of her mom's belongings. She recorded the 45 minute conversation and gave it to police.  A report said the detective spoke to the caller and didn't find enough evidence to get a search warrant. 

“It’s mind boggling," said Williams. "We have a lot of evidence, a judge's warrant. We have felon wanted in other states who is hanging out in with other felons with drugs with stolen guns with stolen property. This math does not add up at all.”

Williams remains hopeful  they will get their family photos returned.  If you have information call 911 or 88-CRIME.  

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