Stolen coins recovered in narcotics bust

A cache of stolen collectors coins were recovered during an April 14 traffic stop in Lompoc.

LOMPOC – Two men were arrested last week during a traffic stop in which stolen valuable coins were recovered.

According to Drew Sugars, spokesman for the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department, narcotics detectives, in collaboration with the Lompoc Police Department, made the April 14 traffic stop by way of serving a search warrant upon Douglas Wolfgang Kurz, 36, suspected of ongoing drug violations.

“He was a known drug user, which was the reason we had the search warrant,” Sugars told reporters.

Kurz’s vehicle was pulled over in downtown Lompoc after detectives who had been surveilling him witnessed him drive to the address of Bryce Combs, 27. At Combs’ residence, the two men were observed loading large duffle bags into Kurz’s car. The two men drove a short distance through Lompoc when sheriff’s deputies pulled them over.

At that time the search warrant was served upon Kurz. Both he and Combs were detained at curbside during the search of the vehicle, which led to evidence the deputies were not anticipating. Aside from various elements of drug paraphernalia, deputies discovered a large cache of collector coins.

Lompoc police on the scene promptly contacted a local coin dealer who had been the recent victim of a commercial burglary, and the coins in Kurz’s vehicle were quickly identified as the stolen items, valued at more than $15,000.

Douglas Wolfgang Kurz

Kurz and Combs were booked into Santa Barbara County jail on charges of possession of stolen property, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of hypodermic needles, with bail for each set at $20,000.

Bryce Combs


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