Tulsa State Fair Vendor Recovers Stolen Goods 2 Years Later

Saturday, October 9th 2010, 7:11 pm
By: News On 6


TULSA, Oklahoma -- An unlikely turn of events led the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office to recover stolen goods that disappeared two years ago.

The victim is a vendor at the Tulsa State Fair and helped authorities track down his property.

Someone stole a trailer full of leather belts from the fairgrounds two years ago. The leather maker, Jeff Gavere, was at the Tulsa State Fair for the first time when the theft occurred.

"We parked our trailer out in the parking lot and the next morning we went out there and it was gone," explains Gavere.

It was a $15,000 loss for Gavere, plus the $10,000 trailer. He skipped last year and decided to give the fair one more try this year.

A few days ago, a woman brought in one of Gavere's belts and wanted to buy more of the same. He recognized the belt from the batch that was stolen.

Jeff and his wife Linda found out that someone was selling his belts at the Admiral Flea Market. That's when the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office stepped in and confiscated the stolen belts.

"My gut reaction was 'wow, I hope we catch the guy who stole it and he still has the trailer," said Gavere.

Sgt Shannon Clark of the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office says they're happy Gavere got the belts back

"It's not very often that we get a good tip like that, that we can follow through and then go help a victim recover the property," Clark said.

So far, they have verified more than 100 belts as Gavere's thanks to a stamp on the back of each.

"There were numerous other belts out there that we believe to be his, but they weren't properly stamped with his logo, so we weren't able to recover those at the time," Clark said.

Gavere is keeping busy with sales and crossing his fingers for closure.

"Hopefully they'll find the guy that stole the trailer and put him in the trailer, haha, that's what I'm hoping," he said.