WINNEBAGO COUNTY (WIFR) -- A routine traffic stop turns into a major bust for police after investigators find drugs and thousands of dollars worth of construction supplies inside a stolen trailer. The Winnebago County Sheriff's Department says they expect to see more of these crimes..
The department says wire thefts have leveled off over the last six months, but with construction season back in full swing deputies expect that number to go back up.
A trailer filled with $5,000 worth of wire was stolen Friday from a construction site on South Main near the bypass. Michael Gottal was arrested early this morning in DeKalb County driving the trailer. He now faces a number of charges. Engel Electric out of Sterling, Illinois owns the trailer. The company’s president Kevin McGinn says it’s the first time he's gotten his equipment back. Deputies say it's hard to catch these thieves, but when they do they usually solve multiple cases.
"Thefts and burglaries, many times you'll have a group working together as part of a burglary crew or theft crew focusing on wire. They'll commit a large number of crimes until they're apprehended," Deputy Chief Dominic Iasparrro, of the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department, said.
McGinn says although they've had theft from sites before this is the first time a trailer was actually stolen. He says although the materials are covered by insurance it still costs the company every time something is stolen.
Deputies patrol around construction sites to prevent wire thefts.They also work with area scrap metal companies.
GENOA (WIFR) -- A Burlington man is arrested in Genoa for multiple charges including stealing a trailer.
Just before 3 a.m. Monday morning, DeKalb County Police were checking the registration on the trailer being pulled by Michael Gottal when the check revealed that the trailer had been reported as stolen. Once back up from surrounding counties were at the location of Melms Road and Route 23, officers then proceeded to pull over 42 year old Gottal.
Officers searched Gottal's vehicle and found crack cocaine and burglary tools inside. Gottal was driving on a suspended license and is currently on parole for burglary.
Gottal is currently being held in DeKalb County Jail on theft charges, possession of a controlled substance, possession of burglary tools and driving on a suspended license.