Riverside Deputies Return Santee Man's Stolen Stump Grinding Equipment

A clue to the whereabouts of a Santee man's stolen trailer and work equipment led authorities to a storage yard housing nearly 100 pieces of equipment stolen from the Southern California region.

Never in his life has Santee's Gordy Davis been more excited to get back to work.

In early November, just days after learning his wife had stage 4 cancer and only a handful of months left to live, Davis' trailer and tree stump grinding equipment he uses to run his business were stolen.

Now his stump grinder, skid-steer and trailer are back in his "junky little yard" where they belong thanks to deputies with the Riverside County Sheriff's Department.

Riverside County deputies were running the plates on a single-axle trailer during a traffic stop in Temecula and found that the plates belonged to Davis' double-axle trailer that was reported stolen. 

The discovery led deputies to a Temecula storage yard where Davis' equipment, along with nearly 100 other pieces of equipment stolen from all over Southern California were being held.

"Mine alone was [worth] about $40,000 and that's just two pieces and a trailer," Davis said. "So, if you take it from there it's a lot. This is probably a $1 million bust.

When Davis first learned his trailer had been taken he was nearly broken.

"For this to happen is just not fair. It's not fair," he told NBC 7 as he fought back tears.

But getting his equipment back and realizing how so many good people helped him during a trying time -- from deputies to friends and even competitors who loaned him equipment so he could still work -- has restored his faith in humanity and recharged his upbeat spirit.

He's holding on to that positive attitude now more than ever as he waits for doctors to release his wife from the hospital. Once she's out, the two of them are planning to go on a bucket list vacation.

The Riverside County Sheriff's Department has made multiple arrests in association with the case.

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