PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — From cats to catalytic converters. What began as a simple prowler call in Damascus late Monday night, led Police to recover a “trove” of illicit items including stolen cars, guns, pills, and newborn kittens.

The surprise bust took place at a home off SE Widgeon Lane, after Clackamas County Sheriff’s Deputies arrived to investigate a report of suspicious people wearing headlamps and prowling cars just before midnight on Monday, April 11.

According to a CCSO, the group of prowlers arrived in a gold pickup and had been previously spotted by neighbors, rummaging through cars at that location for weeks.

Although the gold pickup took off as deputies arrived, CCSO said two of the people in question remained at the home inside a Black Sedan.

As deputies searched the car, they found the plates on the Sedan had been switched.

One of the headlamp-clad subjects, who sat in the back of the car, was later identified by police to be 31-year-old Yuriy T. Zvodzdetskiy of Damascus.

Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office Detectives search home off SE Widgeon Lane in Damascus.
April 12, 2022 (Courtesy CCSO)

He was later arrested as CCSO reported, “A search of Zvodzdetskiy’s person revealed cash, a large stack of credit/debit cards belonging to other people, a pocketknife, fentanyl pills, and keys modified to fit into the ignitions of multiple cars.”

As deputies continued to search the property they found a tailor, a white van with switched plates, and a John Deere Gator had also been stolen.

Meanwhile, another deputy attempted to conduct a traffic stop of the gold pickup, which fled the scene earlier. Police said the pickup took off leading to a pursuit.

“The pickup eluded deputies at SE 82nd Ave and SE Lambert St,” CCSO said. “Portland Police later spotted the truck driving recklessly around midnight in the area of SE 131st and Powell Boulevard.”

According to law enforcement, the pursuit continued and involved several police agencies. Gresham Police later found the suspect driver had abandoned the pickup on the MAX tracks near NE 172nd Avenue and E. Burnside Street on April 12 at around 12:25 a.m.

“The driver then fled into the Burnside Firs apartment complex on the 17400 block of E. Burnside St.,” CCSO stated. “After a K9 track, Portland Police took the suspect driver into custody.”

While in custody, police were able to identify the suspect driver as 35-year-old Paul Angelo Costello. Gresham Police confirmed the gold pickup had been stolen out of Gresham.

Back at the SE Widgeon Lane residence, the discoveries from Monday led CCSO to execute a search warrant of the home the following day, Tuesday, April 12.

Stolen items recovered from home in Damascus, April 12, 2022 (Courtesy CCSO)

That search, led detectives to recover a jackpot of stolen and suspicious objects from the home.

“They seized a trove of items — including firearms, identity documents, wallets, tools, clothing, scooters, pills, and catalytic converters,” CCSO said. “Many of these items were found to be stolen and are being processed as evidence as authorities work to reunite these items with their original owners.”

Amid the massive search, CCSO said detectives also rescued three newborn kittens at the residence.

“The kittens were mere days old,” CCSO said. “Their mother could not be located.”

The three baby kittens were later given to the Oregon Humane Society for care, police said.

Three newborn kittens found during search of home in Damascus, April 12, 2022 (Courtesy CCSO)

According to CCSO, the driver of the stolen gold pickup; Paul Angelo Costello, was later booked into the Clackamas County Jail on charges of unauthorized use of a vehicle, possession of a stolen vehicle, attempt to elude a police officer, reckless driving, and parole violation. 

Costello’s bail was set at $32,500.

Police said Zvodzdetskiy was also arrested and booked on charges of identity theft and possession of stolen property. No bail information was provided for Zvodzdetskiy.

Given how much was found at the Damascus residence, CCSO said they are asking the public for any additional information or tips regarding this case.

“Anyone with information on Paul Angelo Costello, Yuriy T. Zvodzdetskiy or criminal activity operating out of the 16600 block of SE Widgeon Ln. in Damascus is urged to contact the Sheriff’s Office Tip Line.”

Those with information can contact the Sheriff’s Office by phone at 503-723-4949, or via email form at https://www.clackamas.us/sheriff/tip, and reference CCSO Case # 22-008308.