Authorities say unlicensed medicine, escort services and shady business transactions took place in a home on E. Monroe Avenue. Many neighbors say they thought activity around the house was odd. 8 News NOW has discovered anonymous tips from some of those neighbors helped take down the suspects.
Police arrested Rick Van Thiel on numerous charges. Brad Resnik was also arrested for stalking his ex-girlfriend.
Several agencies across the valley received tips about the house which eventually led to an investigation by Metro Police and the FBI.
Authorities say the case serves as a reminder to residents to report suspicious activity.
“When this person moved (in), he put these big old cameras everywhere and his gate,” one neighbor said. “Normally, we don’t have too many gates in the neighborhood.”
The City of Las Vegas started probing the house in August after receiving a tip about a possible business operating without a license.
Authorities say information by citizens played a big role in the investigation.
“In this particular case, what happened in most cases, we have a very concerned citizen that is kind enough and brave enough sometimes to make someone aware that they’ve seen something,” said City of Las Vegas Deputy Director of Planning Karen Duddelesten.
Those tips were also shared with other agencies, including law enforcement.
Some neighbors say they noticed unusual activity at the house but didn’t want to get involved.
“He’s weird. He would always be there not working or anything, and people would come here asking for some kind of, they would say, ‘We came to look for the doctor,’” neighbor Gloria Cortez said.
Authorities say speaking up is crucial. In this case, tips allowed the city to obtain a search warrant.
“They are issued in cases where we are concerned about the health, safety or welfare of our citizens and only in those cases. So, you find them to be very rare,” Duddelesten said.
According to the search warrant, the evidence includes unlicensed medical practices, adult toy production and surveillance equipment sales.
No one at the house had a business license according to city records. Without those neighbor tips about possible compliance issues, investigators say the possible dangers could have gone unnoticed.
“This could have gone on for a longer period of time,” Duddelesten said.
Las Vegas residents can report compliance issue tips anonymously on the city’s website or through the city’s phone app.
If it’s something that could cause immediate harm, authorities urge people to call 911.