A Virginia man is calling for justice after thieves made off with his new semi truck and dumped it in the woods after stripping it for parts.
Frederick Lambert told 10 WAVY News, that he purchased the rig for his son for $25,000 late last year and had been storing it at Frank’s Trucking Center in Chesapeake, Virginia while he worked to get all the appropriate paperwork in order. But when he arrived at the property to pick up the rig on April 5th, the truck was gone.
At first, Lambert thought maybe the truck had been towed, but after making some calls he soon realized that was not the case. Luckily, Lambert has a close relationship with the truck lot and was able to get his hands on surveillance footage from the night of April 4th. It was in that footage that Lambert saw a man unlock the truck, climb inside, and drive it away – and that’s where the confusion comes in.
Lambert says he had the only truck key with him at the time of the theft, so police were initially suspicious of the circumstances, insinuating that perhaps Lambert was trying to pull off some sort of scheme.
“That’s what the police were asking me: ‘Well, you were the only one who had the key,’” Lambert explained.
“I’m like, ‘Yeah, but look at this though: Why would I steal my own truck and strip it down? I don’t have no insurance on it so what purpose would I do that?’ But that’s just the questions we gotta ask.”
It was then that Lambert learned about a piece of trucking lore he had never heard before – Freightliner keys that fit multiple different Freightliner trucks. A quick dive into trucking message boards will reveal that this piece of trucking wisdom is somewhat well known throughout the trucking community. Lambert believes this is how the thief got away with stealing his truck so easily.
Lambert then set out to track down the rig himself by driving through some spots known in the local trucking community, and that’s how he found his rig stripped and abandoned in a wooded area off Elmherst Lane and Laigh Road in Portsmouth.
Lambert immediately contacted police and hopes their help will help him find justice.
“To take all that stuff apart, you’d need a generator, high-powered tools, and it’s loud,” explained Lambert.
Lambert is contracted out by a container company, and says he purchased the truck so that he and his son could have one, allowing them to make double the money, but with the truck gone, he and his son aren’t sure where to go from here.
“When you steal from people who are working hard to make a living? You steal from them and don’t care about it. Yeah, I want justice,” said Lambert.
Chesapeake police are investigating the incident but have not yet determined any suspects.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP (1-888-562-5887) or submit a tip online.
Lambert’s son has set up a GoFundMe to help the two get back into the business.