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WKYT Reality Check: Stolen trailer scrapped at recycling center

WINCHESTER, Ky. (WKYT) - Her trailer was stolen then destroyed at a local recycling plant. The thieves were too quick for police and recycling plant managers say too smart for them.

In a WKYT Reality Check, we show you just how complicated it can be to catch a thief before goods go to scrap.

A Clark County woman, afraid to be identified, walked out of her house on a Saturday morning to find her horse trailer gone.

"The detective came, took pictures, talked to me, talked to my husband. Our neighbors worked with us, everybody scattered looking at different counties," explained the woman, who says a frantic search ended just two hours later at a local scrap yard - Freedom Metals.

"It was taken to another scrap yard first, they would not take it in," she said, "they did call detectives, messages were lost and it got taken to Freedom Metal and in that amount of time it was already picked up and moved to the back to be completely crushed."

When the horse trailer got to Freedom Metals workers there say the tires were flat, the windows were busted out, and it looked like scrap, so they took down necessary information and brought it in.

"That's the nature of the beast here, it's a crap shoot when people bring stuff in," noted the general manager of Freedom Metals, Gerald Combs.

Freedom Metals did follow Kentucky recycling rules. They tell us they took down identification information from both men, and their surveillance system picked up images of the trailer. All of it they turned over to police, and police arrested two men for the crime.

"The people that stole it I guess from her damaged it where it would look like it was scrap. We took it in, we lifted it off the main road, put it in the scrap pile, which we damaged it doing that because of having to pick it up with the equipment," said Combs, "we are on the consumer side, not the thief side. If we can prosecute, we're going to."

The owner of the trailer, says she saved for five years to buy it. She is hoping to get restitution through the courts.

"You work really hard for what you have, and then it can be taken and destroyed within a matter of hours and it's very sad that we live in such a small community and people can't work together to protect each other, and that's the hardest part."

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