Trucks stolen from local motels

OKEECHOBEE — Two one-ton Ford pickup trucks were stolen from two different local motels early Wednesday and a local detective is asking the public’s help in finding the thieves.

According to information disseminated by the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) both vehicles were stolen Jan. 18 between 2:30 and 3 a.m.

A 1999 gold Ford F-350 cab-and-chassis truck was stolen from the parking lot of the Flamingo Motel, 4101 U.S. 441 S. The truck is described as a 4×4 with a diesel Power Stroke engine. It will have a black steel flatbed and there will be a Big Blue welder with black welding leads on the bed of the truck. The serial number on the welder is MG411041R.

The truck should display an Ohio license tag. That tag number should be GWW 7334.

Reports indicate the vehicle’s identification number (VIN) is 1FTSX31FXXEE24565.

A report by OCSO Deputy Jonathon Gove indicated the truck was parked on the south side of the motel.

Surveillance video showed what appeared to be a man wearing a light-colored jacket get out of a white four-door pickup around 3:02 a.m. The man got into the F-350  and drove the vehicle out of the parking lot and turned right onto U.S. 441 S.

The stolen vehicle was followed by the white pickup.

Deputy Gove’s report stated the value of the truck was estimated to be $10,000, while the value of the welder was set at $20,000.

In the other theft, OCSO Deputy Bart Potter stated in his report the stolen 2006 white Ford F-350 belongs to K&K Pipeline Services Inc. The crew operating the vehicle does lawn maintenance all over Florida for the pipeline company.

The truck, stolen from the parking lot of the Best Western Motel at 3975 U.S. 441 S., will be displaying a Florida license tag with the number GABU57. The truck’s VIN is 1FDWW37P76ED72603.

When thieves stole the truck with dual rear wheels they also took a large number of tools and equipment valued at $3,911, stated the deputy’s report.

Besides a white fuel tank filled with 100 gallons of diesel fuel, the thieves made off with: two black toolboxes; a Stihl chainsaw; two Stihl weed eaters; two gas cans; and, a 45-quart Yeti cooler.

Also missing was an assortment of wrenches, a bolt cutter, a shovel and a Craftsman socket set.

Motel security video shows a dark-colored large sports utility vehicle — possibly a Ford Expedition or a Lincoln Navigator — pull into the motel parking lot around 2:38 a.m. The exact model year is not known, but it is believed to be prior to 2000.

After pulling into the parking lot three men, who appear to be white, got out of the SUV and the truck was stolen at 3:01 a.m.

If you have any information regarding these thefts, contact OCSO Detective Sergeant Jimmy Mills at 863-763-3117, ext. 5116. Refer to cases 17SO1253 and 17SO1256.

Eric Kopp is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News

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