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The La Salle County Sheriff’s Office believes its action in the investigation of a trailer theft from a home on Tilden Street may have prompted criminals to abandon it, although another stolen the day before has yet to be recovered.
The removal of a 16-foot flatbed trailer from the Archie’s restaurant property beside the IH-35 access road on Thursday, September 15, remains under investigation, and the sheriff’s office is asking the public for help with any information that may lead investigators to the perpetrators.
The trailer is described as having two axles and distinctive chrome fenders, which Sheriff’s Lt. Homar Olivarez said this week make the trailer recognizable from a distance.
“Do we have a string of trailer thefts going on in the community? That’s what we are asking,” the lieutenant said. “We are now looking at other cases to determine whether they may be part of this criminal effort, or at least similar in nature.”
The theft Friday, Sept. 16, of a nearly identical 16’ flatbed trailer from owners in the 800 block of Tilden Street was resolved within hours when sheriff’s deputies were called to a mobile home and RV park in the city to find that the trailer had been abandoned there.
“We put the message out quickly, and we reinforced that message when the second trailer was stolen on Friday, Olivarez said, and we believe the public was on alert. That is likely why the second trailer was left at the park.”
The lieutenant said it is possible the trailer had been stolen from the residential property in broad daylight.
“We are reminding the community of the old adage, ‘If you see something, if you know something, say something,’” Lt. Olivarez said on Tuesday. “The public has already given us information that helped identify certain persons of interest, and we are presently conducting interviews.”
No arrests had been made in the investigation as of press time Tuesday.
“We are looking at properties at or near the places where these trailers were stolen and where one of them was abandoned, and we will examine any security or surveillance camera footage that may help to identify the perpetrators,” Olivarez said. “It’s pivotal for community members to help each other by sharing information that may help the sheriff’s office.”
The lieutenant said that trailers of the kind that have recently been targeted by thieves are common in South Texas, being used primarily to carry vehicles, oilfield and agricultural equipment, and for home use.
“We hope that owners will take steps to prevent crime, have registration records readily available,” Olivarez said. “Trailer locks go a long way towards discouraging theft crimes of opportunity, and owners should also make note of any distinguishing features that may only be known to them, in the event that trailer identification numbers are removed.
“To have two trailers of a similar kind stolen within twenty-four hours is definitely suspicious and indicative of a pattern,” the lieutenant said.