WEBER COUNTY – Authorities in Weber County arrested three people who they say were part of a trailer theft ring. Now, they’re trying to track down the stolen items that were sold online.
Weber County investigators say the thieves knew who to target. For the past three months, they stole trailers from people's driveways and then turned around and sold the stolen items to unsuspecting buyers.
In the small community of Plain City, Weber County deputies say thieves set their sights on flatbed and enclosed trailers.
“They were definitely very brazen; a lot of these happened in broad daylight,” said Sgt. Matt Jensen with the Weber County Sheriff’s Office.
Sonja Beam says someone drove through her neighborhood and took off with her brand new utility trailer when she was out of town.
“The truck was parked at my house, and one of the guys got out and knocked on the door, and when nobody answered, they kinda started scoping out the yard,” Beam said.
Investigators say thieves targeted homes in Weber County, Ogden and Roy. They then sold the stolen items online.
“They must have had a plan because they, as soon as they got the trailers, they were getting rid of them as quick as they could,” Sgt. Jensen said.
Tips came pouring in, leading to three arrests. Investigators say Jerry Richins and his girlfriend Maria Soto stole trailers for Bryan Fraga. They are facing several felony charges, including theft, communications fraud and receiving stolen property.
Beam was surprised to learn Richins was one of the suspects.
“We use to be friends, I dated one of his friends a few years ago," Beam said.
Sgt. Jensen says a buyer came forward Wednesday, but there are at least a dozen stolen trailers out there, including Beam’s.
“We've got bikes for all of our kids," Beam said. "We go to the sand dunes. We go to the mountains, and now we have no way to get our stuff anywhere."
If someone is caught with a stolen trailer, Jensen says they could be charged. As for the unsuspecting buyer, the courts will decide if they’ll be reimbursed. Meantime, Sgt. Jensen reminds people to be on alert.
“We just advise the public that if you see any suspicious vehicles, even in the middle of the day, driving around and there's open garages, definitely, call the police.”
If you know anything about this case or may have purchased any of the stolen items unknowingly, call the Weber County Sheriff's Office at 801-778-6635.