I’m calling this a Stupid Criminal Trick, but it’s equally about the perils of postponing projects. And it’s also a suggestion to writers on where to send your investigators — amateur or pro — in search of stolen property.
A Kalispell, Montana man came home from work on Easter Sunday to discover that his late father’s 1953 Chevy pickup had been stolen from his front yard, where it was patiently awaiting a planned restoration. A neighbor had seen two men loading it onto a flatbed. The owner’s mother called local wrecking yards to alert them, thinking the thieves might try to sell the truck for scrap. When the thieves tried to sell it to a local recycling company, sheriff’s deputies were called and they were arrested. They claimed to have been given permission – the owner suspects a former tenant who had a gripe against him was behind the deceit.
Law enforcement officers and other investigators routinely check with pawn shops, jewelers who buy old jewelry, coins, and other precious gems and metals — and with wrecking yards. Some departments use reservists and other volunteers to scan listings on Craigslist and print ads for stolen items. And don’t forget the advantages of a mother willing to get on the horn.