Crime Watch 8

3 trailers for semis reported stolen in past 2 months on far west side

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Three trailers for semitractors were reported stolen in the past two months from lots on the far west side of Indianapolis, police say.

The latest theft, on Thursday from a lot in the 8000 block of West 10th Street, was in that area to Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.

Sid Mahant, an owner of Mahant Transportation, is director of the Indiana Diverse Truckers Association. “Some people steal them for the parts, steal them for the tires, for the rims,” he said.

Much like cars, the trailers are a valuable target for thieves, but, unlike cars, they are harder to steal.

“These trailers are pretty high from the ground level. You can’t just put it behind an F-250 or F-150. You’ve got to have a semitruck to steal them.”

Theives usually strike trailers that are temporarily being stored somewhere, which is what happened in the cases IMPD is investigating.

Mahant said thieves will usually steal the registration and license plate from another truck and swap it with the stolen rig to avoid detection by authorities. “They will go to a fuel station, at nighttime, when another driver is sleeping in a trailer truck, of course, having a trailer attached.”

Mahant said some culprits operate alone; other are members of organized rings. He first became a victim in 2012.

“When my brother went to get the truck the CPU (central processing unit) was gone, the ECM (electronic control module) was gone, and the truck was basically on jacks. The tires were gone.”

In a time where the trucking industry is struggling with high fuel prices and supply chain problems, finding replacement parts for a stripped-down truck is almost impossible. “There are not enough being made in the United States. The supply is very low.”

An IMPD spokesperson says no one has been arrested in the recent thefts.