From the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:

On Tuesday February 7, 2012: Deputies from the Sheriff’s Office Rural Crimes Unit initiated a “stake-out” on the property Humboldt Sanitation (2585 Central Avenue, McKinleyville). The purpose of the stake-out was to answer the complaints from Humboldt Sanitation that persons were entering the property during non-business hours and removing recyclables and other items from the business, including discarded marijuana trimmings. The thefts were rampant and occurring on a near nightly basis.

Deputies hid themselves on the property and at 5:20 PM observed a male subject, later identified as Jason Edward Balke (32 of McKinleyville), climbing into a parked sanitation truck. Balke was arrested for violations of: Trespassing, petty theft, possession of concentrated cannabis, possession of suspected methamphetamine, possession of hypodermic syringes, and possession of a controlled substance for sale.

Twenty minutes later at about 5:40 PM, a second and unassociated suspect was discovered inside a 40 foot trailer located on the property. This subject was wearing a black ski mask at the time of his arrest and identified as Rudy Otis Keyes (46, of McKinleyville). Keyes was arrested for: Petty theft, trespassing and violations of his terms of probation, one clause including a stay-away order from Humboldt Sanitation. 

Deputies returned to Humboldt Sanitation on Wednesday, February 8, 2012, as part of the two day operation. At about 7:00 PM, Deputies witnessed a male suspect climbing a ladder on one of the sanitation trailers. This subject was arrested and discovered to be Preston Sam Stucki (24 of Cedar City, Utah). Stucki admitted to the Deputies that he had been committing thefts from Humboldt Sanitation once a week for the period of a month. Stucki was arrested for violation of: Trespassing, petty theft and violations of the terms of his probation.

While the Deputies were interviewing Stucki, an additional suspect entered the property. The suspect heard the Deputies talking to Stucki and fled. Deputies were not able to apprehend the additional suspect.

All of the above suspects were booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility. Future unscheduled operations are planned for Humboldt Sanitation to deal with this obviously chronic problem.