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Oct. 25, 2021

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Clark County bail agents trip up suspect in ‘prolific’ identity thefts

Team travels to Florida, helps arrest man accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in property

By , Columbian Assistant Metro Editor
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6 Photos
Daniel Medeiros, from left, joins David Regan and Richard Hassler outside Regan Bail Bonds in downtown Vancouver on Sept. 30. The bail enforcement agents tracked an accused "prolific" identity thief from Vancouver to Florida over the last few months and assisted in his capture by the Collier County Sheriff's Office.  At top, a mug shot of fugitive Anatoly Kutsar.
Daniel Medeiros, from left, joins David Regan and Richard Hassler outside Regan Bail Bonds in downtown Vancouver on Sept. 30. The bail enforcement agents tracked an accused "prolific" identity thief from Vancouver to Florida over the last few months and assisted in his capture by the Collier County Sheriff's Office. At top, a mug shot of fugitive Anatoly Kutsar. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

A team of Clark County bail recovery agents were behind the Florida arrest of a man described as a “prolific” identity thief suspected of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in property.

After evading capture for months, Anatoly Kutsar, 39, was arrested Sept. 21 in Naples, Fla., by the Collier County Sheriff’s Office. The sheriff’s office was contacted by bail agents who had traveled across the country to bring the wanted man back to Clark County.

Regan Bail Bonds posted Kutsar’s bail for multiple cases in Clark County Superior Court between October 2020 and March 2021. But while out on bail in June, Kutsar allegedly purchased a $36,000 Dodge Charger from a local car dealership using a stolen identity, according to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office and the bail recovery agents.

Richard Hassler, who works for Regan and owns Para Bail Recovery, said Kutsar had been appearing in court via video, but when he was ordered to appear in person in July, he failed to show. A bench warrant was subsequently issued for his arrest.

Hassler, 41, along with David Regan of Regan Bail Bonds and bail recovery agents Dan Medeiros, 49, and Michael Garner, 50, tracked Kutsar to Florida following a “missed opportunity” Aug. 4 in Brush Prairie when Kutsar narrowly escaped custody.

After that encounter, the agents said they confirmed Kutsar’s wife and children had moved to Florida, and that he had followed.

“It’s the rule of thumb — follow the women, follow the drugs, follow the money, find the fugitive,” said Regan, 40.

Flight to Florida

Hassler, Medeiros and Garner hopped on a red eye flight to Miami on Sept. 19, rented a minivan and drove to Naples.

They spent the day checking local hotels. As they came to the last one on their list, a Holiday Inn Express across the street from their hotel, they had some “crazy luck,” Hassler said. Kutsar had allegedly used fake identification to rent a room for himself and a woman, identified by authorities as 35-year-old Rachael Kaz-Clark. (Kaz-Clark is not Kutsar’s wife.)

After they talked to the hotel desk clerk, Kutsar called for the Wi-Fi password. The clerk wrote it down and brought it to his room to positively identify him, Hassler said.

The bail recovery agents then contacted the Collier County Sheriff’s Office, which agreed to help them. But while waiting for deputies to arrive, Kutsar and Kaz-Clark left the hotel, Hassler said.

The Collier County Sheriff’s Office has since said the pair is suspected of burglarizing the Villas of Capri Post Office that night.

Meanwhile, Hassler and his team watched the hotel, waiting for Kutsar to return.

When Kutsar reappeared in the morning, the agents contacted the sheriff’s office again. Deputies surrounded the hotel. Hassler was headed to Kutsar’s room when he saw him selecting breakfast items in the dining area.

“We made eye contact. … “I told him, ‘Anatoly, we’re not doing this again. Turn around and put your hands behind your back. There is no place to go,’” Hassler recalled.

Hassler said Kutsar first denied he was the man they were after, then tried to run. Hassler tripped him as he passed. Food went flying. Then Hassler pepper-sprayed Kutsar, who ran to his hotel room.

Additional deputies arrived and called for paramedics in case the situation escalated into violence, Hassler said.

Through the wall

Hassler said Kutsar and Kaz-Clark locked themselves inside the bathroom of their hotel room. Deputies breached both doors only to discover that no one was inside.

The Collier County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post that the pair had broken through the drywall of the bathroom into the bathroom of the room next door.

After climbing through that room’s window, Kutsar ran around the back of the hotel, where deputies were waiting, Hassler said. One deputy fired a stun gun but missed, he said, and then another tackled Kutsar.

Kaz-Clark escaped and was apprehended the following day by Collier County detectives, the sheriff’s office said. She reportedly has arrest warrants in Washington and Idaho.

The Collier County Sheriff’s Office said it has connected Kutsar and Kaz-Clark to a number of local thefts and burglaries. They are suspected in crimes involving an estimated 15 additional victims, and investigators suspect there are more victims, potentially hundreds, across the U.S.

Investigators said they discovered the pair hid stolen items in various areas at the hotel. They also located a storage unit where the pair concealed hundreds of stolen items, according to the sheriff’s office.

“Among the hundreds of items recovered are four firearms, several laptop computers, credit cards, a pair of vintage binoculars handed down from generation to generation, a 1954 class ring from an optometry school in Tennessee, and U.S. Postal Service mail and packages,” the sheriff’s office said in its Facebook post.

Collier County Sheriff Kevin Rambosk said at a Sept. 27 press conference that investigators seized nearly a thousand pieces of stolen property, leading to dozens of local investigations.

“They’ve left a trail of victims throughout the United States. Some of the property that we got is from across the United States, and it includes ballistic vests and firearms. Think about what can be done or might what have been planned to be done with this type of firepower. I can tell you that it’s nothing good,” the sheriff said.

In Clark County, Kutsar has six pending felony cases in Superior Court.

Senior Deputy Prosecutor Kasey Vu confirmed Thursday that several more criminal cases have been referred to Clark County prosecutors for review and potential charges.

“We suspect there are a lot of victims; we just don’t know how many victims there are yet,” he said.

$300,000 worth stolen

Clark County investigators searched two storage units belonging to Kutsar in October 2020 and found tools and stolen property from multiple local businesses. They also recovered two stolen motorcycles from Kutsar’s residence and a stolen pickup, according to court documents.

In February, Kutsar allegedly stole a U-Haul pickup using a stolen identity, and investigators searched a storage unit rented to him and Kaz-Clark. There, they recovered suspected explosives and more than $17,000 worth of equipment stolen from various businesses, court records show.

While in custody at the Clark County Jail in late February, Kutsar allegedly attempted to escape by stealing another inmate’s identity, according to court records.

During a search of Kutsar’s residence in March, Clark County sheriff’s detectives said they located nearly 20 identification cards from Washington, Oregon, Texas and Florida, all bearing Kutsar’s image and various names of victims of identity theft.

And in August, he was stopped by law enforcement while in possession of a boat reported stolen from Redmond, Ore., court records state.

The bail recovery agents said that when Kutsar evaded capture in August in Brush Prairie, they found vehicles, motorcycles, a semi tractor-trailer and other goods — tires, stereo equipment, tools, laptop computers and phones — all suspected to be stolen, at the property. Regan estimated there was more than $300,000 in stolen items at the property.

“In 20 years of doing this, I’ve never seen any activity or behavior like this,” Regan said.

He will be “pretty disappointed,” he said, if Kutsar is not convicted and sentenced to at least 20 years in prison.

“He’s really a guy the prosecuting attorney’s office should be throwing all resources at,” Regan said.

Kutsar remains in custody at the Collier County Jail on multiple fugitive from justice warrants; and local charges of burglary, criminal mischief over $1,000, a felony; and resisting arrest. He is scheduled to be in court Oct. 18, according to the sheriff’s office.

Vu said it’s unclear when Kutsar will be extradited to Clark County. Prosecutors here have not yet been contacted, he said.

Kaz-Clark is also facing charges of burglary, felony criminal mischief and resisting arrest, Sheriff Rambosk said at the press conference.

The Collier County Sheriff’s Office said additional charges are expected as the investigation continues.