CLAREMORE, Okla.— Trailer thefts are problem that do not seem to be going away in Oklahoma.
According to the investigator who handles trailer theft cases for the Tulsa Police Department, 275 trailers were reported stolen in 2016.
But as 2 Works For You found out, the lack of any state oversight in regards to registering private trailers makes them a prime target for thieves.
In Oklahoma, owners of commercial trailers are required to get a title and a plate.
But owners of private trailers are not required to have a tag.
Fred Davis began selling trailers at his shop in Claremore more than four years ago. Recently, he became an expert at stealing them. All in an effort, he says to cut down on trailer thefts.
Davis says he noticed a steady flow of customers coming into his shop to replace their stolen trailers.
“That's when I really got serious about really needing to do something about these trailer locks,” Davis said.
So the welder came up with an invention called the “Trailer Jailer.”
It’s designed to keep thieves from simply hooking up your trailer and driving away.
Police all over Oklahoma are struggling to keep up with trailer thefts. One thing that would help officers investigate and recover stolen trailers— is having them registered with a tag issued by the state.
The cost to register a trailer is $7.00 in Oklahoma. That includes a plate, but no title to go with it. Registration tags are required in about 40 states.
“There is some opposition to that— thinking that the state just trying to get money and some of us are just wanting it to be easier to get to recover people's property, said Cpl. Tami Manz with the Tulsa Police Department.
According to the Oklahoma Tax Commission, about 12,800 private trailers are registered in the state— a fraction of the number of trailers eligible for registration.
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