RUSKIN — People like to hitch utility trailers to their trucks and SUVs and haul everything from lawn mowers and debris to boats and motorcycles.
But lately, thieves have been hitching up utility trailers to their vehicles and hauling down the road.
That's why the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office is initiating a trailer identification program to make it easier to track the stolen property. On Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon, the Sheriff's Office will host a free trailer registration event at the District IV Office, 508 33rd St. SE in Ruskin.
"Unfortunately there has been an increase in trailer thefts," Corporal David Arthur said. "This is an idea that has been in the works for seven or eight months now."
Though many stolen trailers are recovered, identifying them is a different story. To make the process as successful as possible, they will assign a unique number to record the identification of a trailer and take a photograph for the records.
Deputies will then have the information available in the event a resident's trailer is stolen.
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The sheriff's District IV office assisted Hillsborough County Code Enforcement in a two-week operation in the Wimauma area.
The operation, which ended Monday, sought to improve the quality of life for the residents of the area.
While code enforcement officers targeted graffiti, trash and unsafe structures, the Sheriff's Office focused on traffic enforcement, narcotic violations and suspects with outstanding warrants. Code enforcement personnel condemned three residences, removed 423 tires and collected over 62 tons of trash.
The Sheriff's Office made 223 traffic stops, issued 148 traffic citations and made 44 arrests.