Thieves target batteries in boats and travel trailers

From Milwaukie Police Department:

The Milwaukie Police Department has seen a recent spike in the number of battery thefts occurring in residential areas.  Thieves are targeting travel trailers, boats, and other recreational vehicles parked in residential driveways.  

Thieves take the stolen batteries to recycling exchange businesses and receive money for the battery cores.  While victims may have paid $100 or more for a battery, a thief gains about $7 to $10 for each stolen battery returned to a recycling business.

One such incident occurred yesterday on SE Filbert Street.  Resident John Henry discovered a stranger in his front yard, near the travel trailer parked in his driveway.  Henry confronted the man, who was in the process of stealing two batteries from a storage container installed on the tongue of the travel trailer.

The suspect hopped onto a bicycle to make a hasty getaway.  The suspect was hauling a bicycle trailer into which he would put his ill-gotten gains.  Henry grabbed and flipped the bike trailer causing it to become unhitched.  The suspect pedaled away, and disappeared, leaving the trailer behind.   The bike trailer was seized and brought to the Milwaukie Police Department.  

Police are trying to identify the suspect.  He is described as a white male adult in his mid to late thirties, 5’11” tall, weighing about 160 pounds.  He has short, straight, brown hair.  He had light facial hair, as if unshaven.  He was last seen wearing a plaid flannel shirt and blue jeans.

After this incident, John Henry decided it would be best to store the batteries inside his locked home, to make it more difficult for thieves to steal them.

As this a crime of opportunity, police recommend citizens remove and secure batteries from recreational vehicles, travel trailers, campers, and boats when not in use.  Many battery storage containers are unlocked, plastic boxes attached to the exterior of recreational trailers.  These trailers are often parked in a residential driveway, or alongside the front of the residence.  This combination of factors provides thieves with easy access to steal the batteries.

Milwaukie Police also ask that when someone sees suspicious activity ‘occurring now’, or observes a crime in progress, to call 9-1-1 immediately.