Thieves looking for big ticket item this summer

Published 07/08 2014 05:24PM

Updated 07/08 2014 08:53PM

The temperature isn’t the only thing increasing this summer. The Dothan Police Department says utility trailer theft goes up 65 percent during the summer months.

"People during the summer time use the trailers a lot more,” said Keith Cook, investigator with the Dothan Police Department. “When they bring them home just park them out in the yard and when they do that not putting it up - a lot of people they'll come by and if they want they'll take the trailer."

He says one of the main reasons for the increase is because of scrap metal.

"A lot of this is coming from the increase in scrap metals,” said Cook. “People are trying to get a lot of scrap metals to sell it to scrap yards and they need trailers to haul the scrap to scrap yards."

Investigator Cook said the local scrap metal businesses help the police department. They look for serial numbers on the trailer and run them through a system to check and see if they're stolen.

Cook also says most of the time the thieves will scratch out the serial number and that’s another red flag the trailer is stolen.

"Hide it the best you can in your yard, if you hadn't got a closed in garage to put it in. Make sure there is a good lock on it. Just keep it out of sight from the general public the best you can,” said Cook.

Most stolen trailers are taken because they're not locked up. So, Cook recommends making sure your utility trailer has a trustworthy lock or something to prevent it from moving.

"I’m sure you've seen on cars before the club, they make a similar thing, wheel chock that you can put in between wheels and you can lock, so it locks the wheels in place so that the trailer cannot be moved,” said Camping World General Manager Dave Chavers.

These locks come at a small price compared to the amount of a trailer.

"You can spend 20 dollars upwards of 30- 40 dollars so they're not really expensive, it's an inexpensive way to protect your investment,” said Chavers.

For peace of mind $50 really isn’t that expensive when protecting thousands of dollars.

Investigator cook says another hot item being stolen today are old cars. He says many people will leave cars that no longer work on the side of their house and thieves will steal them and seal them for scrap metal.

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