COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. - A Port Charlotte man has been arrested thanks to a keen observation made by the owner of a stolen trailer, who spotted the trailer as it was being towed by a white pickup truck three days after the theft.
A Charlotte County Sheriff’s deputy has arrested Justin Andrew Light, 30, of 20996 Exmore Avenue in Port Charlotte.
The case unfolded when 27-year-old Derrick M. Knapp contacted the Collier County Sheriff's Office to report that his 2004 homemade utility trailer was stolen on Friday, May 14, from 1540 Nobel Terrace in Port Charlotte.
On Monday, May 17, he called CCSO and reported he was following a trailer he believed was his being pulled by a white pickup. A deputies found the trailer and truck backed into the driveway of Light’s residence.
Knapp positively identified his trailer by the wood, which had recently been painted white. The victim also recognized the trailer's hitch, a dent on the fender and rusted tire rims that were painted silver.
Deputies questioned Light who said that he had purchased the trailer two weeks prior from a man holding a “4-Sale” sign on the side of Veterans Boulevard. According to authorities, he could not produce a bill of sale and had not obtained a tag for the trailer.
Another deputy arrived on scene and was able to provide surveillance photos of the white pickup pulling Knapp’s just stolen trailer as it passed Neil Armstrong School on Friday, May 14 - the day it was stolen. Light was taken to the Charlotte County Jail, charged with grand theft; he has posted a $2,500 bond.
Light is a convicted felon.