Fredonia man accused of driving off with trailer

Town resident charged with renting U-Haul to steal trailer worth $16,000
By 
BILL SCHANEN IV
ozaukee Press staff

A Town of Fredonia man charged in Washington County with drug offenses and burglary is now accused in Ozaukee County of using a U-Haul truck to steal a trailer that, along with its contents, was worth $16,025.

Derrick J. White was charged last week in Ozaukee County Circuit Court with one felony count of theft in a case that dates to Dec. 23.

According to the criminal complaint, the investigation began when the owner of BCMI Construction reported that the company was doing masonry work at P2 Self Storage in Saukville when someone stole a Felling heavy hauler trailer from the worksite.

Surveillance video from the area showed a U-Haul pickup truck enter the self-storage lot at 2:38 p.m. Dec. 23 and a short time later leave with the BCMI trailer in tow.

There was no front license plate on the rented pickup truck and the identification number on the front bumper was covered with tape, the complaint states.

A manager at the Saukville U-Haul store told police that a man who identified himself as “Derick Whites” rented a truck from Dec. 22 to Dec. 23. The manager described the man as “shady,” in part because he returned the vehicle with tape still covering the identification number, according to the complaint.

The man rented the truck without providing a driver’s license.

A break in the case came when Saukville police learned White had been arrested in connection with an incident at a Washington County storage facility. Authorities in that county checked the storage facility but could not find the stolen BCMI trailer. They did, however, find a photo of it on White’s phone, the complaint states.

Authorities in Washington County had placed a GPS tracker on White’s vehicle and information from it showed his vehicle was parked at the U-Haul store in Saukville on Dec. 22 and 23, according to the complaint.

When a Saukville officer interviewed White, he admitted renting the U-Haul truck and taking the trailer. He said he was directed by someone else to steal the trailer but refused to name the person. White also refused to tell police where the trailer was, saying only it was up north “beyond the island of Northern Michigan,” the complaint states.

According to court records, White is free on bail in connection with the Washington County cases. A warrant for his arrest has been issued in Ozaukee County.

Felony theft is punishable by a maximum  five years in prison and five years of extended supervision.

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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