3 NJ men stole 25 tractors to get tires, rims, police say
Three Jersey City men are facing multiple counts of theft and conspiracy to commit theft after allegedly stealing 25 tractors valued at approximately $2.5 million in order to remove the tires and rims.
Following an eight-month investigation, Linden Police Capt. James Sarnicki said authorities arrested William Kenny Wilson, 55; Frederick Dupree, 52 and Larry Aron Johnson 51 on Sunday evening. Sarniki said the investigation was initiated when police from several agencies began looking into the theft of truck tires.
Sarnicki said the suspects would scout locations where trucking yards were located. The men would allegedly steal up to three trucks in a single night, targeting newer leased models. Police say the suspects would take the trucks to industrial areas in Jersey City and Newark. Once there, they would remove the tires and rims and leave the vehicles propped up on cement blocks.
"It is estimated that the suspects stole 25 tractors valued at approximately $2.5 million. Nearly all were recovered minus the tires and rims," Sarnicki said in a statement Thursday.
The captain said at least three of the trucks had been stolen from locations in Linden.
The investigation, which authorities say was spearheaded by Linden Detective Matt Damatta, is ongoing and more charges are expected. The National Insurance Crime Bureau, the New Jersey State Police Interstate Theft Unit and the Edison Police Department are all assisting with the investigation.
Wilson, Dupree and Johnson are all being held at Union County Jail in Elizabeth on multiple charges of theft and conspiracy to commit theft, pending a future court appearance. Wilson's bail has been set at $80,000 bail, and Dupree and Johnson are being held on $40,000 bail each.
Toniann Antonelli is a social content producer for NJ 101.5. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @ToniRadio1015.