Deputies say trailer thefts are on the rise across the Upstate.
Picken's County Sheriff Rick Clark says his department has already received seven trailer theft reports this year. He says 70 percent of those cases led to arrests. But even though they're catching the suspects, the likelihood of victims getting their trailer back is slim.
Sheriff Clark says trailers are easy targets because there's so many of them and because they're hard to trace.
"The overwhelming majority of trailers don't have serial numbers. There's 800 or more like them in the Upstate. They're not discernible and they're easy sells," said Clark.
This is something victim Chris Sewell knows something about after his trailer was stolen from his friend's yard in Easley. "They knock on the door. No one comes to the door, so they say well, nobody's here. I'm going to steal their trailer," said Sewell.
In Sewell's case, a neighbors trail cam caught the theft as it was happening. Clark says he hopes the video footage will help deputies across multiple counties find the thieves.
But he's also offering up advice as to how you can prevent your trailer from rolling away.
First, he says to not leave it out in the open if possible. Second, he suggests using more than one lock.
"No lock will stop every theft. But locks are so cheap and so well made now that what you're doing is adding five to 10 minutes to their theft and they don't like being exposed that long," Clark said.
Clark adds that thieves target trailers they can steal quickly and in a matter of just two to three minutes. He recommends doing anything that will make it time consuming to steal it, such as removing a single tire or placing it on cylinder books.
Lastly, he says you'll want to make your trailer identifiable in the case it ever is stolen. He says you can do that with welding marks or etching your name or license plate into a unique part of the frame.
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