San Andreas, CA – The CHP reports the owners of a stolen trailer believed they spotted it on a popular Facebook sales page and notified the San Andreas Unit.
A sting was set up for the sellers to bring the 2003 HH Utility trailer to the DMV office in San Andreas last Saturday. Entering the parking lot with the trailer were 30-year-old Kelsea Galloway and 38-year-old David Knaak. During questioning the men’s story kept changing regarding how they got the trailer. According to the CHP, Galloway claimed he owned the trailer and Knaak said he built portions of the trailer. CHP Investigators report there were obvious signs that someone attempted to destroy the original Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). However, a second “hidden VIN” was found on the trailer matching the owner’s records. The pair was taken into custody for Vehicle Theft and Possession of Stolen Property.
Officer Toby Butzler indicates, “Officers did respond out to the property where the trailer was being stored and they did look around the property. We do not believe there was any additional stolen property at that address.”
The CHP reports that trailer theft is on the rise and owners need to protect themselves by properly securing their trailers. Additionally, it is recommended never to purchase a vehicle that does not have an easily readable VIN number and paperwork that matches. If there is a doubt, require that the seller have a VIN inspection done by the CHP.
Regarding the recovery of the stolen trailer, Butlzer adds, “Pretty unheard of, unfortunately it’s difficult to recover trailers because they all look the same. Someone removes the plate and they’re hard to find, but this one they [the owners] were very vigilant about it and believed it was theirs. So, it was definitely a happy ending and they were able to get their trailer back.”