Police arrested a man they believe stole $50,000 worth of items from his landlord’s house while the homeowner was out of town.
Michael Lynch, 36, is in the Teton County Jail charged with aggravated burglary and theft after deputies said he was caught selling stolen coins in Idaho Falls, Idaho.
Lynch had been renting from the victim for about a year.
When the victim, who owns a home south of town, returned to his house after a long trip he found most of his belongings missing.
Teton County Sheriff’s Sgt. Clay Platt said evidence is still being processed, but police believe Lynch stole high-dollar silver and gold coins, pills, computer hard drives, computer software, family memorabilia from West Point Military Academy, jewelry (including the victim’s deceased wife’s wedding ring), artwork, musical instruments, Navajo rugs, radio equipment and three guns — a rifle and two pistols.
“The victim is still finding things he’s missing,” Platt said. “As far as the exact financial value, we are still adding things up.”
When deputies searched Lynch’s apartment they recovered some of the stolen belongings, including two of the three guns, but Lynch had already sold some of the items for cash, they said.
“He’s been evicted and trespassed from the property,” Platt said.
Platt said the victim, a longtime Teton County resident, is more upset about the sentimental value of the items.
“The hard drives have photos of he and his wife’s last few years together,” Platt said.
Lynch is also being charged with a probation violation because he was on parole for a 2018 charge.
Records show Lynch was charged with interference last year after fighting with a deputy. He was also arrested in 2015 for allegedly fighting with Jackson officers during a DUI arrest.