Police say thieves targeting tractor-trailers left in Metro East parking lots


CAHOKIA HEIGHTS, Ill. – Tractor-trailer thefts are skyrocketing in the Metro East. In one incident, police say thieves got away with thousands of dollars worth of electronics.

Investigators with the Cahokia Heights Police Department say thieves hit the Flying J Travel Center on Racehorse Drive twice this week, stealing two storage trailers that hook to an 18-wheeler.

They’re asking for the public’s assistance in tracking down the culprits.

On Monday, a person or persons stole a semi-trailer from the Flying J parking lot. It’s unclear how much merchandise was inside the trailer.

Detectives say the culprits struck again Tuesday morning around 6 a.m., taking a trailer with electronic equipment inside worth several thousand dollars.

“I don’t know if there is a string going on around here or if it could be on the rise in the area, but we are going to get extra patrols in the area over there to investigate,” said Sgt. Derek Ruberstell, Cahokia Heights Police Department. “If drivers have the opportunity to leave their cab hook to the trailer, please do so. It’s more of a crime of an opportunity just sitting there unhooked. It’s being investigated, so any leads that auto theft gets or anyone gets, it’s going to be prosecuted.”

A spokesperson for the Metro East Auto Theft Task Force Unit says they have responded to dozens of big rig trailer thefts this year in the area.

FOX 2 reached out to Flying J Travel Center and they declined to comment on the case.

Police say one of the stolen trailers was found abandoned in St. Louis Wednesday morning.

Anyone with information on the thefts is encouraged to contact the Cahokia Heights Police Department at 618-337-9505.

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