Boise Police Department
News Release

Michael F. Masterson
Chief of Police


Contact: Lynn Hightower
Communications Director
570-6180

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Friday, April 14, 2006

Operation Refund

Operation Refund

Boise, April 13, 2006 – 32 people have been charged after a 14 month undercover investigation targeting criminals known to be committing multiple burglaries throughout Boise and the Treasure Valley.

The sting was dubbed “Operation Refund” and involved undercover officers who created a phoney business offering to pay cash for certain items. During a six month period of the operation, officers were purchasing stolen items nearly every day. The officers dealt with numerous known repeat offenders who were often armed during the transactions.

Operation Refund was a cooperative effort between officers from the Boise PD BANDIT Task Force, Boise Police Property Crimes Detectives, and assistance from Garden City and Meridian Police.

Goal of Operation Refund: To take a large number of career criminals off the street and send a message that local law enforcement is proactive in the fight against thefts, burglaries and drug crimes.

Detectives believe arrests made through Operation Refund can directly be tied to a recent decrease in reported burglaries. The latest Boise crime stats show that between Jan. 1 and Mar. 31, burglaries dropped 23% in 2006 over the same time last year. Theft reports the first quarter of ‘06 are also down 11%, leading to a 10% drop in overall crime so far in ‘06 (go to www.boisepolice.org for the latest stats).

Stats on Operation Refund:

  • Began Oct., 2003 with a $100,000 federal grant
  • Undercover “business” open from December 2003 to November, 2004.
  • $103,035 in stolen property recovered at a cost of $24,516. (The rest of the grant money was used to pay for equipment, officer overtime, and training on this specialty operation.)
  • 18 stolen autos were recovered
  • 5 firearms were recovered
  • 11 purchases of narcotics
  • 79 fraudulent Credit/ATM and Identification cards/certificates
  • Took over one year for prosecutors to present all cases through courts.
  • 32 Indictments handed down so far
  • 19% of the suspects were on active parole or probation, most have prior criminal histories.
  • Today, 17 suspects are in jail, warrants for multiple charges are out for 15 others.

More on Operation Refund:

Operation Refund targeted individuals suspected of being involved in multiple burglary, theft and drug related crimes. The goal was a lengthy operation that would collect enough evidence on suspects for multiple felony charges. However, during the operation, suspects found to be the most active, meaning those suspects involved in criminal activity almost daily, were arrested right away. Others are now being arrested as the warrants have recently come out from the court system.

“Many of our serial burglars are in jail right now,” said Chief Michael Masterson. “This operation, plus the daily diligent efforts of patrol, and the continued cooperation between investigative units, and for the time being at least, we’re seeing a real drop in burglary and theft in the city.