MOUNT PLEASANT — A Racine man faces a felony theft charge after he allegedly stole six car-hauler trailers, then tried to sell them on Facebook.
The first two trailers were reported missing from a trailer dealer located along Interstate 94 on Sept. 21. An anti-theft chain that had been on the trailers appeared to have been cut, and a sawzall blade was found in the parking lot, Mount Pleasant Police reported.
Two more trailers were reported stolen on Sept. 24 and another two the following day, all of them from the same business. On Sept. 25, a speed limit sign near the business had also been knocked down.
Combined, the six trailers have a reported value of $16,800.
Then, on Sept. 27, police interviewed a man who reported seeing a vehicle pulling two trailers and driving recklessly on the night of the third theft. Using the description of the driver, vehicle and surveillance footage from a nearby gas station, Ross Hopkins, 27, of the 1300 block of West Boulevard, was identified as a suspect, police said.
When police arrived at Hopkins’ home, the vehicle that had been observed driving away from the trailer dealer was in the driveway and two of the stolen trailers were parked in a nearby parking lot, according to a criminal complaint.
An investigator found that Hopkins had posted pictures of the trailers for sale on Facebook Marketplace.
The investigator later contacted Hopkins, purporting to be interested in purchasing the trailers. According to the criminal complaint, Hopkins said that “he got the trailers from a friend who needed to sell them quickly due to a pending divorce.”
Soon after, Hopkins was taken into custody.
He also faces charges of possession of narcotic drugs and possession of drug paraphernalia after police reported finding approximately 12 grams of heroin in Hopkins’ pocket and unused syringes, metal tins with burnt black residue and dirty cotton swabs were found in his truck.
Hopkins reportedly told police that the nights of the thefts were “a blur” to him.
After appearing in court on Monday, a preliminary hearing was scheduled for Oct. 9 at the Racine County Law Enforcement Center. Hopkins remained in custody as of Tuesday afternoon at the County Jail, online records indicated.
Hopkins has prior convictions for resisting/obstructing an officer in 2018, attempting to flee/elude an officer as a vehicle operator in 2014, possession of narcotic drugs and receiving/concealing stolen property in 2013, and possession with intent to deliver THC in 2011.
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