A Dowelltown man is facing multiple counts of theft after admitting involvement in several thefts of utility trailers in DeKalb County over the last six months.
19 year old Colten Gene Young of Old Mill Hill Road will make a court appearance on seven counts of theft over $1,000 on August 24. He is under a $35,500 bond.
According to Sheriff Patrick Ray, Young has admitted to being directly responsible for three of the thefts and aiding in the others. Smithville Police also recently filed a charge against him for a utility trailer theft in the city. But Young’s crime spree was not limited to DeKalb County. He has admitted to utility trailer thefts in Sparta, Manchester, Gatlinburg, and Rockwood.
Meanwhile Sheriff Ray is urging anyone who may have purchased a utility trailer from Young or if you have information concerning someone else who has done so to contact the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office in person or call 615-597-4935. You may also contact the crime tip line at 615-464-6400 or email Sheriff Ray at firstname.lastname@example.org
“We have been having utility trailers, mostly bumper trailers, stolen within the last six months. After we spoke with the Smithville Police detective about the person they had arrested (Young), one of our detectives and I went to the White County Sheriff’s Department and talked to Young where he was being housed on a charge by the Sparta Police Department. We considered him to be a person of interest in our theft investigation at that time. We actually spoke with him on three different occasions and gathered information. During the second interview, Young agreed to take the detective and me to places in the area where he had stolen utility trailers. After taking us to the site of a theft behind F.Z. Webb & Sons Pharmacy on South Congress Boulevard where Smithville Police had investigated, Young led us to L&M Farms, the former H.J. Judkins Nursery on Short Mountain Highway where he said he had stolen a trailer. From there we went to Turner’s Napa Auto Parts on West Broad Street where he claimed to have stolen a trailer. Young also admitted to having stolen $3,900 from a residence on Old Mill Hill Road,” said Sheriff Ray.
From the information provided by Young, investigators learned who had bought the trailer taken from the Napa Auto Parts location and they were able to recover it.
During a third interview, Sheriff Ray said Young told investigators that while he had not been directly responsible for the other thefts he had been a spotter for or with another man and spotted trailers at the Smithville Church of God on West Broad Street, at a residence off Highway 56 south, and at a home on Backbone Ridge near the White County line. The trailers from all three of those places were later reported stolen.
After confessing to his involvement in the local thefts, Sheriff Ray said Young took responsibility for thefts of fourteen trailers in Lincoln County, at least two in White County, one in Gatlinburg, one in Rockwood, and one in Manchester.
“We have been working with the Sheriff’s departments in Lincoln County and Coffee County along with the Sparta Police Department. Many of the cases against Young in those counties stemmed from our investigation on him here,” said Sheriff Ray.
Charges filed by the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department against Young are as follows:
*Theft over $1,000 (March 1 Young aided and assisted taking a white 6’ x 10’ enclosed trailer which belonged to the Smithville Church of God valued at $2,000. He had spotted the trailer with or for another man)
*Theft over $1,000 (May 15 Young took a black 18 foot Lawrimore trailer from behind Turners Napa Auto Parts on West Broad Street valued at $1,500)
*Theft over $1,000 (May 23 Young took $3,900 from a residence on Old Mill Hill Road in Dowelltown)
*Theft over $1,000 (June 1 Young aided and assisted in taking a black 16 foot trailer from Magness Road valued at $2,000. He had spotted the trailer with or for another man)
*Theft over $1,000 (June 7 Young took a black 16 foot trailer from a nursery on Short Mountain Highway valued at $1,800)
*Theft over $1,000 (July 14 Young aided and assisted in taking a black 5’ x 8’ trailer from Backbone Road, Sparta in DeKalb County valued at $1,250. He had spotted the trailer with or for another man)
*Theft over $1,000 (July 14 Young aided and assisted in taking a black 7’ x 14’ trailer along with a canoe and kayak which were on the trailer all valued at $2,629. The theft occurred off Short Mountain Highway. He had spotted the trailer with or for another man)
Sheriff Ray urges anyone who has bought or who is considering buying a utility trailer or other equipment to guard against becoming a victim.
“We are more than happy to come out and look at your trailer. We will check the numbers on it if you want us to. If you are planning to buy a trailer give us the serial number and we will be glad to check that to make sure it isn’t stolen,” said Sheriff Ray.
“What we don’t want to happen is for someone to purchase one of these stolen trailers unaware but then discover that it has had an altered VIN number. We don’t want anyone to get in trouble for something like that,” he said.
Make sure you obtain a title with your purchase and not settle for just a bill of sale. “In some cases, Young provided his unsuspecting customers with a bill of sale. A title is the best way to buy a trailer, four wheeler, or vehicle because a bill of sale is not a guarantee that what you are buying isn’t stolen,” said Sheriff Ray.
Another thing to consider is that if its discovered that the trailer you bought was stolen, you could lose all the money you invested in it.