Van Buren County deputies discover stolen trailers, mowers & other items

DECATUR, Mich. — Van Buren County deputies recovered a trailer filled with stolen mowers on Friday.

Sheriff Daniel Abbott reports that deputies with the Uniform Response Division were on routine patrol at 1 p.m. Friday in Decatur Township when they noticed a travel trailer parked next to the train tracks just outside of the village of Decatur, near 82367 42nd St. After a short time the deputies were able to find access to the property through the Amtrak right of way.

After arriving at the 32-foot travel trailer, the deputies located multiple items on the property including several zero-turn lawn mowers, a golf cart, a side-by-side off-road ATV, a small farm tractor and mower deck and multiple steel and aluminum hauling trailers.

The deputies were not able to locate any people in the area so they checked several VIN numbers and found that the travel trailer was stolen from Indiana.

The deputies then checked the VIN and serial numbers of the other items and found that those items were also stolen in Indiana.

The deputies contacted the Michigan State Police and a search warrant was drafted.  During the execution of the search warrant two suspects arrived at the scene hauling a trailer with another zero-turn lawn mower.

That mower was confirmed stolen from Goshen, Ind.

All the items were confiscated for processing and further investigation.

With help from police departments in Goshen and Middlebury, Ind., deputies were able to determine that the larger items had been stolen from businesses in those cities.

Most of the items are new and have values of more than $10,000 each.

Once the investigation is completed the stolen property will be returned to the owners.

The two suspects were taken into custody without incident — a 39-year-old man from South Bend, Ind., and a 40-year-old woman from Elkhart, Ind.

They are being held at the Van Buren County Jail on charges of receiving and concealing stolen property greater than $20,000.

Abbott said other charges are likely to follow from law enforcement in both Michigan and Indiana.

Anyone who may have information related to this case should contact the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office, Crime Stoppers or their local police department.

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