Trailer stolen, family finds it just before being scrapped

Trailer stolen, family finds it just before being scrapped »Play Video
After their trailer was stolen, Larry Van Dyne and Bob Cummings found it in worse shape at a scrap yard. They blame the scrap yard for the damage and want it to pay for the repairs.

VANCOUVER, Wash. – One family tracked down their stolen trailer just minutes from it being scrapped, but they still can't use it because of the damage it received.

Before it was stolen, Larry Van Dyne's trailer was in good shape. He built the trailer for his grandfather, Bob Cummings.

Van Dyne found it at Rivergate Scrap Metals in Portland.

"I've been told by the Rivergate people that the thief actually brought it in three times that day," Van Dyne said. "And the third time, he just left the whole trailer with his scrap in it."

That makes him and his grandfather think the trailer came into the scrap yard in usable condition. So they want the scrap yard to pay for the damage.
 
"I'm surprised they would even think of scrapping something like this that can be re-used plenty more times," Cummings said. "There was nothing wrong with this trailer. This was a good trailer."

"When you have a piece of property come in that's usable, that ought to throw up a red flag. And it didn't. They just said, 'Oh, we get 'em in all the time,'" Van Dyne said.
 
You have to have a license for a trailer in Washington but not in Oregon.

A KATU News reporter and videographer went to Rivergate to ask if they checked to see who owned it.

"We don't talk about what's between us and our customers," said a man you works at the scrap yard.

The KATU crew was told it was none of their business.

Van Dyne said Rivergate didn't even want to give the trailer back, and then wanted him to pay.

"I was thinking they were just as crooked as the thieves themselves," he said.

You can buy a lock for a trailer's hitch, which keeps people from hooking up to it. Van Dyne and Cummings said they'll put one on their next trailer and maybe a burglar alarm to go along with it.

This story came to us as a news tip. If you have a story for us, email us at newstips@katu.com. Your tip goes straight to our newsroom.