CHESTERFIELD, Mo. – New video of a crime trend on the rise: thieves stealing storage trailers not knowing what’s inside of them.
It’s just happened in Chesterfield again. The last time a thief there ended up with a hot air balloon in late August. The balloon and basket—but not the trailer—have just been recovered in Eureka, police said.
Around 10:15 p.m. this past Friday, surveillance video shows a suspect driving onto the lot behind THD Design Group in the Chesterfield Valley. You see the suspect walk around the trailer and pull away the wheel blocks, then line up his pickup truck “just right” with the trailer’s hitch, which had a lock on it. The suspect then drives off with the trailer, passing by multiple surveillance cameras as he heads through the lot and onto Chesterfield Industrial Boulevard toward Chesterfield Airport Road.
“He broke the lock off and was out of the parking lot in about four minutes,” said Rob Tiemann, VP of THD Design Group.
This isn’t just a case of a thief looking for a trailer to steal. The video shows that was apparently plan B. Forty minutes before the trailer theft, the suspect was on the lot, apparently checking for unlocked car doors.
“He checked out some of the vehicles of my neighbors, checked to see if the doors were open,” Tiemann said.
Video from another camera shows the same distinctive suspect vehicle backing up alongside another pickup truck, getting out, and apparently checking the doors.
Cameras caught that same suspect vehicle repeatedly on the lot in the days leading up to the crime, Tiemann said.
“It’s a dark, navy blue, Dodge Ram, with a silver door (rear driver’s side) that’s obviously been replaced. Anybody that would see it, would know it,” Tiemann said. “It’s got a huge antenna on it that you can see in the videos. I think they’re hoping something is there (the trailer) they can sell. I don’t think they had any idea what was in it.”
Tiemann is offering a $1,000 reward and doubts the thief will find a buyer for the surveying gear inside the stolen trailer.
If you have any information call the Chesterfield Police Department at 636-537-3000.