Deputies: Passersby spot suspected trailer thieves, follow - FOX Carolina 21

Deputies: Passersby spot suspected trailer thieves, follow them

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Left to Right: Elbert Blackley, Ivan Padgett and Eric Teamer (Source: Spartanburg Co. Detention Center) Left to Right: Elbert Blackley, Ivan Padgett and Eric Teamer (Source: Spartanburg Co. Detention Center)

Deputies said they were alerted to a possible trailer and dock theft when passersby called them to say they were following the suspects Monday.

Spartanburg County deputies said the witnesses called when the truck hauling the trailer stopped at a gas station about 11:25 p.m.

According to deputies, the callers reported seeing a pickup truck with its lights off backed up to a trailer with a floating dock on it at a property on Highway 9. They told deputies they pulled back around and the truck pulled out, hauling off the floating dock with the trailer.

A chain was dragging from the trailer and its rear lights were not on until the truck stopped at the gas station and a man got out to connect them, deputies said. The truck then left and was stopped by deputies a little later.

According to the sheriff's office report, deputies spoke to the man who connected the trailer lights. He said they were called by a man and asked to pick up the trailer and dock to take it to his shop because he had recently bought it, according to deputies.

Deputies said when they asked why the truck's lights were off when they hooked up the trailer, the man, identified as Ivan Padgett, said they didn't want to drain the truck's battery. When officers asked him why he did not connect the trailer's lights, he did not answer, deputies said.

Deputies said they asked Padgett, 51, out of 100 percent how sure he was the trailer and dock were not stolen and he replied about 85 percent sure.

According to the report, deputies called the owner who said he did not give permission to anyone to pickup the trailer or dock, he did not sell it but it was on display at the Highway 9 property as he owns a dock company.

Deputies said the trailer and dock were valued at a total of $6,500. They said they also found  two pairs of bolt clippers, two hammers and a hacksaw used to cut metal in the back of the pickup truck.

Padgett, along with Elbert Blackley, 62, and Eric Teamer, 32, were arrested and charged with grand larceny and possession of criminal tools.

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