WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Several 18-wheeler freight trucks and containers have been stolen near the State Port of Wilmington. The victims say it smells a little fishy.
“I was home, and my driver called and said, ‘Hey, Marcus? Where is the white Freightliner?'” Marcus Gurganus said. “And I said, ‘Well, it should be on the yard.'”
But Gurganus’s Freightliner was not in the yard. It was stolen last month, and after driving off with his tractor, the thieves drove a few miles down the road and loaded up a container at California Cartage. Inside the container were high performance tires worth an estimated $100,000.
This is not the first time thieves targeted containers full of tires. Jonathan Edwards had a trailer and container of tires stolen from his yard last year.
“They’re easy to get rid of,” Edwards, the owner of S&J Trucking, said. “The trailer and truck and chassis and stuff like that may be a little bit difficult to get rid of, but the tires, if they’ve got somewhere to put them, they can get rid of them pretty easy.”
Gurganus said four to five tractors and eight containers have been stolen in just the past year. He also says that these crimes are most likely an inside job.
“The folks that are stealing these tractors are obviously trained drivers,” Gurganus said. “They know what they’re doing and where they’re going.”
Edwards said, “The drivers talk. Drivers know what other drivers do, so they have an idea of what’s on the trailer.”
Gurganus says he suspects the thieves may be hiding the trucks outside of Wilmington. He is offering a $2,000 reward for any information on his stolen Freightliner.
“On the back of the truck there’s an identifying name, it’s called the ‘Shakin’ Shack,’ and everybody in the port recognizes that truck,” he said. “We all recognize each other’s trucks. You know, some of the guys name their trucks. So, you know the ‘Shakin’ Shack?’ I mean somebody is going to see that around somewhere.”
Wilmington Police and the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office say they are still investigating where Gurganus’s tractor is.