Athens Review, Athens, Texas

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July 17, 2013

Athens trailer theft investigated

Athens — The Athens Police Department is investigating the theft of a trailer that had been parked in front of a residence on Crestview Street.

The owner contacted APD at about 6 p.m. on Tuesday and said an unknown person had taken the trailer. The case has been turned over to the Criminal Investigations Division.

According to APD, trailers are a popular target for thieves because they are useful, easy to sell and often don’t have any identifying marks, like a Vehicle Identifying Number to help police connect them with the owner. Many trailers are solid black or white.

“It can be really hard to tell one from another, especially if they’ve been painted,” Chief Buddy Hill said.

Hill said anyone who owns a trailer that doesn’t have a VIN number should get some kind of number engraved on it, then record the number. In the past, owners have used drivers license or Social Security numbers as identification information, but with identity theft rampant, Hill advises using a different number.

One reason trailers are so attractive to thieves is they are often left unattended overnight at businesses or worksites.

Hill said citizens should also lock up the trailers. Devices like tongue locks and wheel locks are available to help prevent theft.

“I don’t know how effective they are, but they do serve as a deterrent,” Hill said.

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