BROOKSVILLE (FOX 13) - Aliberto Mendia is one of a number of victims in Hernando County to have their utility trailer stolen. Luckily, he got it back Thursday.
"I'm excited bro. I seen it out of the corner of my eye. I was just going to keep going home I said, 'nah, let me do a U-turn.' Got right behind them, recognized my trailer and called the cops," Mendia told Fox 13 News.
It had been missing for a few weeks.
"I didn't have no chains or anything, just a basic lock in front of it," he said.
Before happening upon his stolen trailer, he was ready to pay big bucks for a new one. Utility trailers cost hundreds, or even thousands of dollars, not to mention what he had inside.
"Probably, more often than not, they're not recovered. We got lucky today," said Hernando County Sheriff's spokesperson Denise Moloney.
Hernando deputies said trailer theft is a growing problem. For owners, the trailers are valuable toos. For thieves, they're just dollar signs.
"It is considered a motor vehicle. People sell it, get rid of it, and get money and probably buy drugs with the money," said Moloney.
The sheriff's office was urging owners to secure their rigs and park out of sight. Alarms, tracking devices and locks all make it harder for thieves to make off a trailer.
"If you put a hitch lock on the trailer, someone can't hook a vehicle up it," said Moloney.
"It's kind of despicable. We work hard to buy this stuff so we can use it for ourselves and someone comes in and steals it from you," said Mendia.
Mendia vows he won't lose his again.
"I'm going to chain around it and my cameras are going up around my house," he said.