A Greenville Co. business owner puts a traffic boot on his trailer to help keep thieves away. (July 24, 2012/FOX Carolina)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -
In just more than a week's time, three enclosed trailers have been stolen in Greenville County, according to authorities.
The alleged thieves have made off with more than $85,000 worth of equipment. Deputies said in each case, the trailers were locked and one was even behind a locked fence.
Three separate grand larceny cases are now under investigation by the sheriff's office. The cases are forcing some in the small business community to take some unusual steps to protect their livelihoods.
One business owner wanted to hide his identity to avoid becoming the next victim, but said the recent crime wave is costly to small businesses. It can even force them to shut down.
He purchased a traffic boot, the same kind used for those who fail to pay parking tickets for $400 online to secure his trailer behind a deadlocked fence.
"It's just a little added security, there's been quite a few instances around town where people are getting their trailers stolen," said the business owner. "This is just one more thing to keep it from being stolen. Any hit to a small business does put your business in jeopardy."
Deputies said it's too early to tell if the same crooks are committing the crimes.
"I can't say for sure that it's a trend, there's definitely some red flags being raised that there are at least three enclosed trailers taken in such a short period," said Master Deputy Laura Campbell.
Surveillance video has identified one vehicle of interest. Deputies said a dark Ford F150 was caught making off with a Quick Response LLC trailer worth $50,000.
Authorities said a trailer was taken from behind the fenced in area of Greenville Refrigeration worth $14,000. They said a construction trailer also went missing from a home build at Stradley Terrace Street in Greenville valued at $20,000.
The Greenville Sheriff's Office said the Property Crimes division is looking into whether these trailers could be sold for parts at chop shops, or if they are being targeted for their contents. In all of the cases, the equipment inside was worth just as much or more than the trailer itself.
Deputies ask anyone with information to come forward and call Crimestoppers at 864-23-CRIME.
Copyright 2012 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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