(Memphis) Thieves are stealing trailers so often in Shelby County, deputies conducted a sting operation to catch the crooks.
They say surveillance sting helped catch at least one of them, John Reeves, who they say snatched a trailer in Millington.
Detectives put out a 7 x 18 trailer out front of an abandoned business on Highway 51 to see if somebody would steal it and they say, sure enough, somebody did.
Deputies watched the trailer for three days before Sunday someone swooped-in and stole it.
They say it was Reeves and an accomplice who hauled the trailer from Millington to South Memphis, and tried to sell it to a man on Watson Street.
“They stopped here and try to sell it to you? “ asked Reporter Sabrina Hall.
“Yeah, they tried to sell it to me,” said Jose Ortega.
Before money could even be exchanged, police handcuffed Reeves while his accomplice ran away.
“Which way did he run?” asked Hall.
“Back through the woods.”
“Why do you think people are stealing trailers around here?” asked Hall.
“Because there's no VIN number, no title to them,” said Michael Dun, who had his trailer stolen several months back.
Before it was stolen, Dun used to make money with his trailer by hauling cars.
Making money is one reason thieves are after them.
They cost around $1,500 and Ortega says the crooks tried to sell it to him for just $200.
The problem is so bad, Shelby County deputies felt the sting operation was necessary to get at least one thief in custody.
“Does it make you wonder if it's the same guy who stole your trailer?” asked Hall.
“ It could be,” said Dun. “It’s a possibility.”
Ortega says he's seen Reeves and his accomplice before, selling things around his neighborhood and on Watson Street.
He says he doesn't plan to do business with them in the future, “If you want to buy something, go to the store.”
Reeves is locked-up on a $10,000 bond. Deputies say the man who ran away is named Christopher Bobbitt – Reeve's roommate.