Tulsa Detective Dedicated To Investigating Trailer Thefts
TULSA, Oklahoma - Police say trailer thefts are an epidemic in the US, including in Oklahoma.
The problem is so bad in Tulsa, the police department has dedicated one officer to work on nothing else but trailer thefts, full time.
That detective recently noticed the same truck was used in at least three recent thefts.
Detective Amy Hall said there's a huge market for these trailers. They're easy to steal, easy to conceal and easy to move, plus most don't have any specific markings that would make them identifiable later.
A surveillance video from a September 22 theft at LDF sales near Pine and Garnett shows the white extended cab Denali pretty well.
It's been used in three cases—all commercial locations, all a man who uses bolt cutters or some type of prying tool to break into the lot, all between 9 p.m. and midnight.
Hall said, even when there's lots of other stuff to steal, he only takes trailers.
The first two were flatbeds and the most recent was a smoker trailer.
"I would say, more than likely, he probably has a buyer already set up for the trailers," Hall said.
The Denali shown in the surveillance video has a sunroof and non-standard rims and the back tail light might be out.
Hall said she gets at least one trailer theft report every day and has been very successful at recovering some of them.
"It's an epidemic nationwide. Just in the last sixty days, we've recovered a quarter of a million dollars in trailers and content," Hall said.
She said, most often, the trailers stolen here are taken across state lines and sold.
She said it's best to keep your trailer out of sight. Store it somewhere, lock it up, or at least take a picture of it and put some type of specific marking on it that will make it identifiable, if it does get stolen.
"Thieves will remove the VINs, remove the numbers—they know where to look, so something specific to that owner is extremely helpful," Hall said.
Trailers are big investments for people and often are loaded with even more valuable items when they're stolen, so recovering them is critical, but often tough.
"A lot of people don't know this in Oklahoma. Even though we don't require individuals to register trailers, you can voluntarily go register a trailer and tag it, which is extremely helpful in the recovery process," Hall said.