Police say trucks stolen

By Darrell Todd Maurina

Someone stole three semi tractors and two trailers from area businesses in the past week, according to Curry County Sheriff Roger Hatcher and Texico Police Chief John Mares.
Unlike private vehicles which usually bring only a few thousand dollars if cut up and sold for parts, Hatcher said semis can bring tens of thousands of dollars to truck thieves. Truck thefts don’t occur more often because of a higher likelihood of detection, he said, and the last one in Curry County was about five years ago.
“The thing is there is a good chance they could get stopped so it makes it more surprising that they’d steal trucks,” Hatcher said. “There are Motor Transportation Division officers all over the place and all it takes is a light out and they’ll stop it. Hopefully we can find the trucks before they’ve gotten to a chop shop.”
Mares said the first incident occurred about 5:30 p.m. March 10 when a purple 2000 Kenworth conventional tractor owned by Bostwick Trucking was stolen out of a parking lot at the 800 block of Wheeler in Texico, known outside the city limits as Highway 60/84.
Two semis were parked next to each other but only one was stolen, Mares said. Hatcher said the truck was worth about $50,000.
The truck’s paint job helped investigators track it to Clovis but the trail went cold after that, Mares said.
“These trucks are purple and stand out like a sore thumb,” Mares said. “The truck was seen in Clovis at Grand and MLK somewhere around 7 p.m. that evening. One of (company owner James Bostwick’s) friends saw the truck at the stop sign and called in that it looked like James’ truck. He told him they had seen his truck plus two other trucks, all bobtails, going west. We suspect that the two other trucks that were all run together were all stolen.”
Officers treated the theft as an isolated incident until Wednesday when Don Pool Construction reported shortly after 6 a.m. that two Peterbilt trucks had been stolen from the 5100 block of Mabry Drive.
Hatcher said tire tracks indicated that the two Peterbilt trucks were also driven west out of Clovis.
“I did find out that it was normal for them to leave the keys in their truck on their lot,” Hatcher said. “They’ve got a big fence around it except on the east side and that’s where they removed the trucks.”
Company owner Don Pool said the trucks were worth about $100,000 and being used to haul gravel to a construction site. The trucks were insured, he said.
“I was pretty surprised, nothing like this has happened before,” Pool said. “It’s definitely going to cause some immediate changes to be made.”
Hatcher said his department is warning trucking companies to guard their equipment.
“We haven’t had a lot of semi thefts in the county before and here we’ve had three in one week,” Hatcher said. “It seems to me that something is going on that we really need to take a look at.”
The last series of heavy equipment thefts in Curry County hasn’t yet been solved, Hatcher said.
“Probably six to nine years ago we had several farm tractors and combines stolen,” Hatcher said. “That was a ring; they were taking them down into Mexico and we never did make any arrests on that. We had some information but nothing we could put together.”
The owner of Bostwick Trucking was on the road and could not be reached for comment.