Serial thieves caught in Morro Bay

A Morro Bay traffic stop on Tuesday netted two serial thieves who had allegedly been preying on residents of multiple San Luis Obispo County communities and stole holiday gifts, as well as valuables that had been left inside vehicles.

At about 9:30 a.m., Morro Bay Police Officer Will Marvos conducted a stop for a traffic violation on Kennedy Way near Qunitana Road. Police then arrested the driver, Stephen Michael Maier, 29, for driving under the influence of drugs. The passenger, Kyle Michael Turner, 27, was arrested for possession of illegal drugs.

A subsequent investigation revealed Maier and Turner were in possession of multiple items of stolen property, including several pieces of stolen mail that were found inside their vehicle. Another package inside the vehicle had been stolen from a home after it was delivered.

Investigators determined Maier and Turner had broken into numerous vehicles and stolen items, including jewelry, checkbooks, credit cards, clothing and boxing gear. Thus far, police have identified ten separate victims.

Most of the thefts occurred in Los Osos, Cayucos and Atascadero. Morro Bay police are working with other agencies to identify additional victims.

Several “happy” victims, though, have already retrieved their property from the Morro Bay police station.

Officers charged Maier and Turner with possession of stolen property, mail theft and possession of illegal drugs. Maier is still facing a DUI charge, and Turner is additionally charged with being under the influence of drugs.

Morro Bay police are reminding community members to lock their vehicles and to not leave valuable items inside their cars. Also, police say to be aware that thefts of packages coming from online sources will continue to increase as the popularity of online shopping rises.