The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Breaking News

December 17, 2011

Truck carrying pricey tablet computers stolen

CHESTERFIELD, Ind. — Police are searching for two people in the theft of a semi-tractor trailer carrying $1.7 million worth of tablet computers that was stolen on Thursday afternoon.

According to Mike Milbourn of the Chesterfield Police Department, the theft happened while the semi’s driver stopped at the Pilot Travel Center along Indiana 67, west of Interstate 69. Milbourn said the driver left the vehicle to use the bathroom in the plaza.

The identities of the thieves are unknown. Security footage shows a man wearing a blue sweater, with a referee-style shirt underneath, follow the driver into the bathroom.

Milbourn said he believes the man in the sweater is a suspect because, about five seconds later, he walks out of the bathroom and makes a call on his cellphone. Surveillance video shows the suspect stopping to look at a toy display in the gas station as a second person walks out of the building. Milbourn believes the second person is the one who broke into the semi and cut the ignition.

The first man left in a green four-door sedan — of which police have not been able to make out the model or the license plate number — but it does appear he was traveling alone.

Milbourn also believes there may be a third suspect, as the second person was seen talking on his cellphone while the first subject was not on his cellphone.

The semi is described as a gray 2007 Volvo with a sleeper, and it was pulling a 53-foot white trailer with a license plate number of J407603. It was transporting 22 pallets of the tablet computers, comparable to Apple’s iPad, from the Bright Point Distribution center in Plainfield to Ontario, Canada. The driver said he had a computer, credit cards and clothing in the semi.

Bright Point told police that the shipment did not have any tracking devices.

Milbourn believes he may have uncovered fingerprints belonging to one of the suspects. As the first suspect looked at the toy display, surveillance footage shows that he briefly picked up a box containing a toy motorcycle. Milbourn was able to recover the toy on Friday.

“Now it just depends on whether or not this guy has a criminal background,” Milbourn said.

In the police report, Milbourn wrote that he had contacted FBI agent Neal Freeman for assistance. Freeman told Milbourn that he would contact the Interstate Theft Task Force this morning. He also said that, in his experience, such stolen goods are often taken to the Miami area.

Anyone with information is urged to call Chesterfield police at 378-3354.

Contact Sam Brattain: 640-4883, sam.brattain@heraldbulletin.com

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