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Trailer full of stolen merchandise found in Martinsburg lot

November 18, 2005|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A trailer full of stolen clothing was found Thursday in an empty parking lot near the Martinsburg Mall, but the truck used to haul the trailer was still missing, police said.

The tractor-trailer was stolen from Guilford County, S.C. Police in South Carolina alerted authorities in Martinsburg that the trailer might be there, but Martinsburg Police Department Detective Sgt. George Swartwood declined to elaborate on how authorities knew its location.

Swartwood and Police Chief Ted Anderson found the trailer in the parking lot of the former Barnhart's grocery store on Foxcroft Avenue.

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Nobody was with the trailer when it was found, Swartwood said.

When it was unlocked, officers found the trailer was loaded from top to bottom with merchandise, including crates of sweaters.

The trailer had identification numbers on its sides, back and front. The identification numbers on the sides had been painted over and adhesive numbers had been placed on the back of the trailer, perhaps to give the impression that that was the truck's proper number, Swartwood said.

However, the numbers on the front of the trailer had not been altered, allowing police to confirm the trailer was the one reported stolen. Those numbers were not as visible when the trailer was connected to a truck, Swartwood said.

The trailer belonged to J.B. Hunt. It was locked and towed to an impound lot to allow its owner to pick it up, Swartwood said.

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