Thieves take off with trailer

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 2, 2003

Suffolk News-Herald

A team of men came from Mississippi to help with the damage done by Hurricane Isabel, and for their efforts, they got ripped off. Police are now searching for the suspects who took their trailer.

Innovative Builders came to Suffolk equipped with backhoes, front-end loaders and a lot of other equipment used to remove fallen trees and debris from the landscape. They’d been working since the hurricane ripped through the city leaving much of it looking like a bomb site.


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Tony Childress of Innovative Builders said they’d worked until around 8 p.m., and then returned to the Roadway Inn Motel on North Main Street. They parked their vehicles and the long-bed trailer in the old Suffolk Plaza parking lot. Wednesday morning when they went out to the parking lot, the trailer was missing.

The owner of Innovative Builders, Roger Chaplinger, called police to report the trailer stolen.

Childress said the trailer is easily identifiable because it is a &uot;tilt-type&uot; and solid white in color. It also has some distinctive construction features. The dual axel trailer has flat metal bars down the length of the body on the bed and sides. Childress added that he and the crew could easily identify the trailer if it is found.

The team working with FEMA had been working most recently with Dot and Clem Dalton in the vicinity of Cherry Grove Road where they lost several large trees. She is just about as angry as Isabel was over what has happened to the clean-up crew.

&uot;They were working down the street for FEMA, and they’d been at our house for about three days,&uot; said Dalton. &uot;They worked on three other homes in our area and on several other projects. They’ve been in Suffolk since the day of the hurricane and working about 14-hours a day. They don’t deserve this type of treatment because they came to Suffolk to help us and they’ve worked so hard for all of us. This is not right!&uot;

Anyone who sees the missing $4,000 trailer, or who has information about the theft is asked to call Suffolk Police Officer E.A. Bender at 923-2350, or call Lieutenant D.J. George at 923-2198.