The Clewiston News

Police identify stolen guns through Facebook post

Helen Louise Thomas

A Facebook post showing two young men holding two guns and a handful of cash led to an arrest after police identified the guns as those stolen from a home on Del Monte Avenue last month.

Several rifles, shotguns and boxes of ammunition were stolen from a home on the 400 block of East Del Monte in July while the homeowners were on vacation, an arrest report released by the Clewiston Police Department states.

The break-in, which occurred sometime between July 16 and 17, was called in by a neighbor house-sitting for the homeowners after she reportedly noticed the front bedroom window had been opened.

Police responded and spoke to the homeowners over the phone, who said they had numerous rifles and shotguns located throughout the home which seemed to be missing. When they arrived home the next day, they confirmed that multiple guns had been taken from their home, as well as boxes of ammunition and gaming consoles, states the report.

About two weeks after the burglary, the police department was told a picture had been posted to Facebook showing two young men holding two of the guns allegedly taken from the Del Monte home.

One of the boys was identified as a 17 year old from Montura, who allegedly sold those and other guns to his mother, 45-year-old Helen Louise Thomas.

Mrs. Thomas reportedly told police she did not purchase the gun pictured on Facebook, but allegedly admitted she purchased some guns from her son.

The 17-year-old boy, whose name has not been released because he is a minor, reportedly told police he got the guns from a boy he knew as Josh.

Police later identified Josh as 19-year-old Joshua James Cottiers.

A warrant has been issued for the arrest of both the 17 year old and Josh Cottiers for dealing in stolen property and grand theft.

Mrs. Thomas was arrested on Aug. 18 on dealing in stolen property and grand theft charges.

It is reported that when police questioned Mrs. Thomas about purchasing guns she should have known were stolen, Mrs. Thomas allegedly replied that everything is stolen in Montura and everyone is either stealing it or selling it.

Police have not named a suspect in the burglary of the Del Monte home.