My enclosed trailer was stolen June 15 evening in the city of Livonia.
I have clear video of the three people and their pickup. They managed to unlock and steal it in less than five minutes. I have provided a copy of the video to the police. The trailer was empty except for the ramps and winch.
It's a 1993 Pace American enclosed trailer. VIN is 40LAB1620PP020077 with Michigan plate B299993
Trailer is all white with an aluminum stone shield in front. It has wheel covers and small NASCAR stickers on the bottom rear corners from the previous owner. If you spot it, please alert the Livonia, Michigan police.
Gheez sorry to hear that Tom. I hope you get it back in one piece.
So sad. I'm assuming your trailer was even at your house? Is anything sacred anymore?
At least, it was about empty
It was parked at my garage where I work on my cars. The theft occurred at 9:30 and there was still some light.
It was two men and a woman; all dressed casually and acting like they owned the place. They were driving a newer Ford F-150 extended cab. The police are delighted with the quality of the video.
This lock disappeared in ten seconds under a four foot pry bar. They took the broken lock with them along with my canvas tire covers.
If you have this style lock, you might want to rethink your security strategy.
Since I am over the border in IL it might come through here. Can you post a picture of it? Tandom wheels? Standard height or extra foot tall? Length?
Large amount of old car people here in Chicago area and our chapter is connected online. Trail is still warm.
I have chains on both my axles threaded through the wheels and around the axle on each side in addition to a lock on the tongue. I figure thieves are basically lazy and the harder you make it for them the less likely they are to steal it. That said, if they want it they are going to get it!
I live near Lansing and will keep my eyes open for it.
Tom, sorry for your troubles. Might you share with us how the theft was recorded? There are so many options out there now, I'm curious if it was a professional security system or something you purchased online and set up yourself.
My brother had his trailer protected the same way and the chain was a heavy logging chain. Took the thieves about 30 seconds to cut that chain and steal the trailer. It doesn't matter what is used to protect a trailer, if a thief wants it there are tools to make short work of the lock.
Walt, I recently installed a professional eight camera commercial surveillance system. My landlord has the same system in other parts of the complex so I figured I should do the same.
One of my son's cars was in the trailer only days ago so I am counting my blessings.
I'm looking for photos. It typically only shows up on background shots.
Standard height. 16 feet long 7.5 feet wide. Tandem axle. Double doors in back, right one is slightly bowed out. White siding is weathered as one would expect on a 23 year old trailer.
It has one inch u-channel welded to the rear cross member to accommodate the lips on the loose aluminum ramps. Inside floor is carpeted from the previous owner.
Sorry about your loss - I hope you get it back and they do more than scold the crooks.
If a chain doesn't work - remove the wheels.
Another way it to do what we do to stop raccoons from visiting the squirrel traps on our deck.
I got a small electric fence charger from Tractor Supply ($35) then connected one wire to a metal plate on the floor and the other to the cage that was on 2x4s.
It only took a few nights to convince the bandits to go elsewhere.
On the other hand the squirrels are either stupid or like to be shocked.
I can't believe how high they jump!
Sorry to hear it Tom!
Sorry about that... That's terrible, i have been very lucky with that type of thing in my life.
Sorry to here. Glad it was empty. Any chance the video picked up their license plate number?
I hope it was insured. My flatbed trailer was stolen the day before we were to go to the MTFCI 50th anniversary tour in Clear Lake Iowa. I borrowed another trailer and made the tour OK. I had a new trailer built. I also had it insured. It cost a whopping $6 a year.
Steve I know what you mean and certainly agree but I am still hoping that your average thief is too lazy and too stupid To work at it and come prepared. There is no protection against a hard working smart thief, that is what insurance is for!
My buddy had trailer stolen 3 years ago . He passed it on the road this spring , 3 miles from his shop. Long story short he followed it and cops got it back.
Hope you get yours!
Nothing worse than a thief .
A few signs on a trailer might help in future:
"After you bust off the tongue lock, don't forget the rim chains ... and then don't forget to turn around and check to see if I have the gun loaded yet!"
"If the shotgun I use as a doorbell happens to go off while you're stealing my property, you should have been more careful."
Too bad we're not allowed to cause impact-durress up here in Canada.
I am thinking of using the wire feed welder to weld letters on the tongue and somewhere else,like my last name or something to use as a ready and visible identification.
Tell the cops and searchers where the second set of letters is welded to help prove who's it is.
I know,the vin should be on there but it is 1/4 inch numbers that can be covered by simple electrical tape "holding" the wires on or something.
"Oh, I changed axles and forgot to put the numbers on it".
Drug dealers steal our trailers to use as Meth labs. They setup in a corn field and make meth for a few weeks and then just abandon it and repeat the whole thing elsewhere. Enclosed car trailers are favorites.
tom, Your shop is in an out of the way location along the railroad tracks on a service road. I suspect the thieves have local knowledge to even know your trailer was there. No body goes up that drive without a reason.
There are gps trailer tracking devices for a reasonable price. Simply find your trailer on a computer map after its stolen, send the authorities to the location, or if you want, clean up the trash yourself.
Are you suggesting that the crooks would leave trash in the trailer?
I have a GPS unit on my trailer that has a 6 month battery life before it needs recharged. It charges up every time I plug in the trailer to the truck. I have it set to check in once a day via email. It also sends me an email whenever it starts to move. I hope to never have to go chasing my trailer, but if it dos go missing, I'll be able to find it.
Greg, what brand of GPS unit is it and does it require a subscription service?
Walter - here is the unit that I use.....
I don't pay any subscription fees.
My wife has a Track R device on her phone. Wonder if u could hide one in the trailer and then follow it on gps?
That tracking unit is interesting, how does it work exactly? I don't have Verizon for my cell service.
Philip - mine works through Rogers cell service here, so I would imagine that it can be set up for use with any cell service
Fellows, how does the tracker work? Is there a monthly cellular charge? I have Verizon, do you program it to dial your phone?
Pull a wheel. Too much work? Think about where you are now.
What does pulling one wheel do for you on a tandem axle trailer?
"What does pulling one wheel do for you on a tandem axle trailer?"
On most tandem axle trailers, removing one wheel will drop the trailer onto the ground on that side. You need all four wheels to move the trailer due to the treadle suspension.
Not really sure about all but i have had tires blow out and once limped along with my torsion axle's!I think most enclosed car hauler's have torsion axle's?? 110 miles beyond Whitehorse our friends broke the two main springs on the first axle under their 5 th wheel RV.We managed to block the axle and limp to a camp ground where we replaced the two springs.If using a open trailer with springs a chain might limp you in! You say not safe because you do not know how,get your cell phone and credit card out!! Bud in Wheeler,Mi.
Post photos of the suspects and the pickup! There's enough of us in Michigan to assist!
Thanks Dick. I wasn't going to answer myself. Couldn't see the need.
Interesting. I guess everyone has their own experiences.
Well, some news; mostly good.
Today my son and I enjoyed the longest day of the year at Boulevard Trumbull, Detroit's city impound lot.
We got our trailer back. Detroit's finest spotted it somewhere it shouldn't have been and had it impounded. We're missing two locks, two ramps, two tie downs and four axle straps. On the outside, they took the cover for our battery box and the emergency brake plug which meant I had to cut that wire before connecting the Bargman plug. They unplugged the winch remote but tossed back inside for some reason so the winch is intact. It's home and blocked in with other vehicles now.
Glad you got it back. Doesn't sound like they took much or damaged to much.
Probably used it for thefts of cars and equipment and then it got found.
Glad you got it back,most storys don't end as well.
What protection will you implement now different than before?
I had a 89 PaceAmerica like yours, good trailer. Had it for 20yrs. Wish the one I replaced it was as good. Only problem I had was it easy red and the paint faded. Went past it today and most of the red was gone.turning white loln
Great news Tom.
My friends f350 pickup was stolen in a parking lot. Doors locked. Thief got in with jimmy bar,broke the key thing and was gone in less than 4 minutes. friend got his check and the truck was found 4 days after it was cashed.
But in saying that, a vehicle in the way,is not in the way long unless it is totally disabled.
After his truck got stole I sat here for a while and have came up with a theft resistant system that would involve a dimmer switch in the floor board tied in with the small wire going to the starter solenoid. You would press the dimmer switch to "bright" then turn the key and crank the truck as usual. When parking, simply push the switch to "dim" position and then when the key is turned, the solenoid can't work. this could be mounted above the gas pedal or somewhere only you would know and might save your truck.
(Message edited by tdump on June 20, 2016)
Disable your tow vehicle ignition system when you stop & leave your tow vehicle.
This can be done by installing an easily accessible
fuseholder in a discreet location.
If you disconnect your trailer from your vehicle,
back your trailer up first against a wall or immovable
object - then park another vehicle directly across in front of
the tongue area - disable this vehicle.
Stealing of enclosed trailers has been on the rise around here until they recently caught a couple of guys in the act.
Man I hate thieves!
What if the thief comes with a BearCat armored personnel carrier and drags your tow vehicle away?
It probably means you have something very valuable in your trailer ..
Today I received a call from Wayne County circuit court. The thief was running a chop shop and they will sentencing one of the three that I photographed. No word on the other two. I have to prepare a statement for the judge noting the losses I sustained and the impound fees incurred and I will get to say a few words in court.
I was warned that any restitution will have to occur after his release in two to ten years.
The good news is that the trailers at the Old Car Festival should be a little bit safer next month.
Tom: be sure you write all of your losses so you don't forget anything, including the original lock on the tongue the locks on the door tie downs, loss of use (missed car shows etc) anything that was broken that you had to repair... don't leave anything out. My Father was a State Trooper and it used to make him mad when the victims would leave something obvious out. glad you got your trailer back and maybe some justice good luck
Hi Tom, Don't spend the restitution money yet. The dirtbag will most likely not be an "improved person" after spending a couple of years in the big house. He's a thief now, and with a prison sentence on his resume' he will probably be a thief when he is released. Once a dirtbag, always a dirtbag.
My son reminded me just that. He reminded me to add the breakaway switch and battery box to my list because the thieves took the grenade pin so the brakes locked when we powered the trailer up in impound.
John C. The money already was spent when I put the trailer back to right last month. I know how reparations don't work out in many cases.
Two to ten years in Wayne County for a property crime will be eighteen months! Make sure by talking to the Prosecutor restitution is part of his probation not just a part of his sentence.