Stolen vehicle recovered by volunteers

Saturday, September 9th, 2023, at 11:43 a.m. (PDT), we received a request for an offroad recovery. The requester, Officer Frank Koutelieris, sent us the following information:

Greetings, I am Officer Kouteleiris with the Nisqually Tribal PD. Last week, my coworker and I located a stolen vehicle deep in the woods near the Nisqually River (on the Nisqually Indian Reservation). The car was reported stolen in 2019, and we recently had someone walking in the area, and they came upon the vehicle. l have been unable to get it out of the woods due to it not having rear wheels, and it is in an area that is about a 3/4 of a mile from the nearest dirt road. I have tried calling a tow, but they are unable to access the vehicle, as it is buried in the middle of the woods, and I need it closer to the dirt road in order to drag it out. Any assistance or advice on recovering this car would be great.

Since this was a closed area, we contacted Officer Frank so we could travel and survey the situation.

We traveled with Myrian in my Jeep on Wednesday, September 13th. We arrived around 10:30 a.m., met with Officer Frank Koutelieris (Left), and drove to the location. Once there, we first walked around 250 yards inside a dense forest and found the vehicle.

offroad recovery
Photo taken by Al

After taking some pictures and notes we return to the main street. We grabbed the Jeep, and with Officer Frank, drove into the area while Myrian helped as a spotter.

The vehicle seemed stuck for a long time; we later learned the vehicle had been there since 2019. The wheels on the back were missing, and the ones in the front were locked at an angle.

I attached a Yankum rope to the frame with a soft shackle to attempt to pull the vehicle. We tried to assess how hard it would be to move the vehicle.

Finally, we moved the vehicle around 3 feet with one pull, but we noticed the wheels stuck at an angle.

We decided to document as much as we could and return to base to regroup and find some local volunteers for a future day.

A few days later we contacted Benjamin from WORN to help us coordinate this recovery since this request required some delicate work with local authorities deep inside the Nisqually Indian Reservation.

We shared all the information with them using our lobby. And from there, Benjamin started to work putting together a team.

The following Saturday, the volunteers gathered with Officer Frank and worked for 2 hours removing the vehicle. Bryan brought some spare tires, and with them installed, they pulled the abandoned vehicle through the forest toward the main road.

Benjamin later sent us some photos, notes, and videos of the recovery. The volunteers involved were Gage, Collin, Wyatt, Brent, Brian, Wesley, and Tim.

Volunteers Gage, Collin, Wyatt, Brent, Brian, Wesley, and Tim after performing the washington offroad recovery

We appreciate the help from all the volunteers and also the partnership we have with Worn in Washington. Officer Frank expressed his pleasure with the level of voluntarism from every participant.


Here is a video showing the first part of the survey of this recovery and the second part of the recovery by WORN volunteers.

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