Thieves are targeting victims in hotel parking lots and it’s the welcome you don’t want for your family or friends visiting Tulsa.
FOX23 News has been reporting about trailer thefts in neighborhoods and construction sites but these crooks are finding a lot more in hotel parking lots.
"I think they went away and no idea what they had,” said victim Don Hurst.
Inside his silver cargo trailer, Mr. Hurst had a custom-built Harley Davidson.
He said the parking lot near the Baymont Inn was full so he parked it in the open parking lot near the semi trucks.
"This morning when I saw it was gone I was just nauseous,” said Hurst.
The hotel near I-44 and Yale didn’t have surveillance cameras near the trailer.
Not the impression Tulsans want to leave with visitors.
"Since this morning I've been in mourning. It's like losing one of my children or our dogs. It's just a part of me,” said Hurst.
For seven years Hurst has been riding his tricked out 1997 Harley Davidson Soft Tail that was custom built only for him.
"There is sweat and blood in that only me and the guy who helped me build it will ever know about,” said Hurst.
He said the bike had more than than its just custom paint with light brown, gold pinstriped and dark brown paint on the inside.
"That bike has everything around it to fit me. It suits me and it was built and refined and redefined to suit me,” said Hurst.
He and his wife are passing through Tulsa from Arizona. They are on their way to Indianapolis for the Ohio Valley Ride.
Hurst said the trailer or truck didn’t have stickers or anything advertising he was a Harley man.
"I had apprehension about parking there but it’s close to the freeway. I couldn't see that it could hurt anything,” said Hurst.
What Mr. Hurst didn’t know and what the hotel never mentioned was that Tulsa police report hotel parking lots are hot spots for trailer thieves.
A string of trailer thefts happened to guests at another south Tulsa hotel off Interstate 44.
These trailer thieves are bad guys and violent criminals who have made a million dollars in Tulsa this year.
There are organized trailer theft rings, with a chain of people and most involve drugs.
Police said they sell the trailers to mom and pop businesses or take them to the auction.
Some of the thieves steal them for the trailer and the loot while others steal for the loot and dump the trailer.
"It was cut three times. It didn't take much for them to get through the lock,” said Hurst.
His Ford F-150 wasn’t stolen but now a treasure is gone that’s irreplaceable.
"I can buy another truck but I can't buy another bike like that,” said Hurst.
Police said trailer thefts are big business in Oklahoma because the State doesn’t require registration for trailers unless they are being used for commercial use.
Commercial tags are $46.00 and a $4.00 annual fee. Police recommend you get a farm or other trailer tagged for $7.00 and the annual fee is $7.00.
They also recommend you record information such as the VIN/Serial number, color, make, model and year of the trailer. Also engrave the trailer with an identifying mark in a hidden spot on the trailer so you can identify it.
Police also recommend that you secure your trailer with a heavy-duty lock, do not park your trailer in an empty lot or driveway and use a GPS tracker. They can be purchased online or in electronic stores for $60.00 to $200.00
The stolen Harley Davidson has an Arizona license B735MJ. The silver cargo trailer has a left fender missing from the 15 by 10 cargo trailer.
If you have any information about this stolen trailer and Harley or any crime call Crime Stoppers at (918) 596-COPS (2677) or text a tip to “CRIMES” (274637) and begin your message with “TIP918” or you can submit a tip online at www.tipsubmit.com
. Remember you never have to give your name and your tip could lead to a cash reward.