Evansville police see increase in trailer thefts

Evansville police see increase in trailer thefts
Published: Jan. 18, 2023 at 5:06 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 18, 2023 at 6:41 PM CST
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Law enforcement officers in the Tri-State say they saw an increase in trailer thefts at the end of 2022, and now stretching into this year.

When Jennifer and Curt Welte, the owners of Evansville consignment store Camilla’s Closet, returned from vacation, they went to move some items from their store to one of the non-profits they also run, but there was a problem.

“Couldn’t find the trailer, and even second-guessed ourselves on which location it was at,” said Curt. “He comes back and he was like, ‘The trailer’s not out there,’ and I’m like, ‘It has to be out there,’” said Jennifer.

Evansville police say Camilla’s Closet isn’t alone. Without sharing the exact numbers, EPD says they saw an increase in stolen trailers from around the end of November through the beginning of January. Officials say when the numbers rise like that, it could point to people coming to the area specifically targeting trailers.

Vanderburgh County Sheriff Noah Robinson says people don’t always register their trailers, so they can be hard to track down, which appeals to thieves.

“There’s much more of a market on the black market for stolen trailers than there ever is for stolen vehicles,” said Sheriff Robinson. “Simply because the likelihood of recovery is so greatly reduced.”

To protect themselves, law enforcement encourages people to protect their property using tongue locks, hitch locks, or chock locks. They say you should also consider using a GPS tracker, or blocking the trailer in if you don’t use it often.

“It’s going to take time, they can’t just go up there and grab it,” said EPD Sgt. Anna Gray. “They’re going to have to hook it up to something, making the process more difficult for the suspect. Don’t be an easy target, basically.”

Evansville police say some people don’t report it when their trailer is stolen. Police encourage people always to report these thefts since they could be part of a larger series of crimes.