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Stolen property used as currency

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MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News)-Thousands of dollars worth of stolen items can be found during one drug related search and seizer.

According to Metro Narcotic, they see everything from fork lifts to TV's being used as a form of currency.

But the trouble for law enforcement is trying to return that stolen property to its rightful owner .

Jay Ellerman and his Metro Narcotics team routinely execute search warrants for drug busts in Ouachita Parish.

Ellerman more often than not they find more than just drugs.

"We get inside the residents we find all sorts of things other than the drugs. When we are looking we find things that are later found to be stolen we have found things that we believe to be stolen" says Ellerman.

Ellerman says they can find everything from industrial equipment to TV's.

They're said to be used as a form of currency for buying drugs and getting that next fix.

"I don't have the data to tell you an exact percentage to say how many crimes are drug related but I would guess its in the neighborhood off 80 percent. I mean just about everything thefts burglaries all those property crimes" says Ellerman.

When they discover stolen property Ellerman says more often than not they run into an issue.

"We try to contact to find out where the stuff is stolen is from by contacting that police department so they can try to get their property back to owner but most of the time its not reported as stolen so we don't have anyway to return it to the owner" says Ellerman.

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