|Updated: 6/21/2012 8:52 am
||Published: 6/21/2012 12:25 am
Trailer thefts are still a popular crime in Tulsa.
Tulsa Police Riverside investigators have received hundreds of reports of stolen trailers. Police said there are four theft rings at work in Tulsa with specific targets.
Officers said the crooks are burglars and drug dealers who are selling the trailers on Craigslist for a profit and are getting orders from people using trailers.
Now Riverside officers are getting aggressive to track down the thieves. Armed with trailer information and a reference guide Tulsa patrol and traffic officers are handing out flyers to prevent trailer thefts.
One trailer appears to be a business but doesn’t have the required registration for a commercial trailer.
Officer David Littlefield stops to talk to the lawn workers. The driver was not the owner of the business.
"The trailer is required to have a commercial tag if it has a commercial use,” said Littlefield.
Without the tags police said it’s tough to track trailers that stolen or not stolen.
"We're having such a big issue with trailer thefts,” said Littlefield.
Jeff Smith owns Ikon Landscape and is a one-man crew.
"I don't know if they make a lock from a trailer to a tongue,” said Littlefield.
Smith knows there are locks but knows thieves will cut them off. He had a close call with his $7,500 trailer.
"When I got out of the Red Cross after donating platelets I went after the guy and he told me some shenanigans it was his boss' trailer,” said Smith.
Without his trailer he can’t work.
"If you have several trailers, get pictures of all of them and put them in a safe place,” said Littlefield.
You also need to cross check information if you’re shopping for a trailer on Craigslist or an unknown seller.
"Where you see the metal plate on the tongue that should have all the VIN information and make sure it matches the certification of origin,” said Littlefield.
A bill of sale doesn’t mean the trailer is legitimate so you should check it out.
On the back of the brochure police recommend you record information about your trailer. Record the color, make, model, serial/VIN number and also attach a picture of your trailer.
"It's a good awareness to have them here. They are there to help us,” said Smith.
Commercial tags are $46.00 and the annual renewal is $4.00. Other trailers such farm or non-commercial trailers are not required to be tagged but police recommend you get them registered. It cost $4.00 and the annual renewal is $4.00.
Police also recommend that you should not leave your keys in the car with a trailer and lock your doors. A week ago police say lawn workers were in the backyard and a thief took off in a truck hauling a trailer.