Trailers are common, lucrative theft target

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They are among the most frequently stolen things with wheels -- and they are bought and sold with minimal scrutiny.

This is the trailer that was attached to a new pickup truck driven by Jay Weinberger when he was stopped by a deputyin Putnam County early Saturday morning.  Morris News Service
Morris News Service
This is the trailer that was attached to a new pickup truck driven by Jay Weinberger when he was stopped by a deputyin Putnam County early Saturday morning.

Trailers, especially the enclosed variety, which are used to haul everything from horses and livestock to classic cars and carpentry gear, are easy targets for theft.

"It's all about supply and demand," said Columbia County sheriff's Capt. Steve Morris, whose department routinely investigates dozens of such thefts each year. "There's an obvious market for them, and they bring relatively good prices."

On Saturday morning, police said, Augusta businessman Jay Weinberger was pulling a stolen trailer when a Putnam County sheriff's deputy tried to pull him over. Police said Mr. Weinberger took his own life at the end of a police chase.

Just last week, Columbia County authorities recovered a trailer reported stolen in June from a business in North Augusta. The recovery spurred a broader inquiry in Aiken County, where suspects were being sought Tuesday. In all, 18 thefts involving equipment or utility trailers have been reported in Columbia County in the past 90 days.

What are they worth?

A scan of locally advertised used trailers shows dozens of such vehicles, with asking prices ranging from $600 to more than $6,000.

Capt. Morris said recovery rates for stolen trailers are low.

"When we do find trailers, often the identification plates have been removed. Or if the trailer has a stamped serial number, oftentimes they have been ground off, which makes it difficult to make a positive identification."

Reach Rob Pavey at (706) 868-1222, ext. 119, or

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justus4 09/09/09 - 07:39 am
This story could give the

This story could give the "bad guy" ideas. Anything not tied down or secured is at-risk of being stolen, but who are the typical thieves in these cases: U guesed it. For that reason, it is now being reported as common. Wow! The length some folks go to provide cover. How about getting these criminals off the streets.

deekster 09/09/09 - 09:18 am
So now in the "court of

So now in the "court of public opinion" stealing a trailer is just another day at work. "An epidemic of stolen trailers befalls the CSR of A". It happens in CC all the time and seldom are the robberies solved. No big deal!! Let's move on!! The new WATCH WORD. Let's move on!! Rock, Paper, Scissors. MONEY trumps ALL.

helpicantfindthespacebar 09/09/09 - 09:51 am
justus no one is giving the

justus no one is giving the 'bad guy' ideas. They come up with plenty on their own, and even tied down and secured is no guarantee when someone is determined to steal it from you.

Jsynapse 09/09/09 - 01:58 pm
The story avoided saying the

The story avoided saying the obvious. It could be we just solved where most of the trailers have been going.

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