ANCHORAGE, Alaska — First, a trailer used as a mobile pretzel restaurant was stolen in Fairbanks. Next, a trailer loaded with Cub Scout popcorn was swiped from a driveway in Wasilla.
Rather than a serial snack thief, a simpler explanation could be thieves taking advantage of easy targets, said Megan Peters, spokeswoman for the Alaska State Troopers.
“A lot of crimes, like thefts and burglaries, are crimes of opportunity,” she said. “We tell that to people every single time we have lots of burglaries.”
An unsecured trailer can be whisked away by anyone with the right-size hitch. Often they’re left without locks or other theft prevention devices.
In the Fairbanks case, someone stole the Pretzel Chef trailer, which operates as a food truck. The white, 14-foot trailer was parked for the winter at the end of August, last seen three weeks ago and reported missing Sunday.
The trailer receiver was locked, said co-owner Michelle Titus Hajdukovich, but the trailer was parked in a wooded lot west of the city where a thief could remove a lock undetected.
Hajdukovich was home with a newborn and wanted to supplement her family’s income when she and a cousin started the mobile pretzel business in 2002. Over 14 years, young family members have helped keep it humming.
Ovens, a refrigerator, cheese pumps, a refrigerator, mixers and bowls were loaded in the trailer. Hajdukovich can’t imagine a motive for the theft. The trailer has no ramp or door for loading snowmobiles or four-wheelers.
“It’s not useful for hauling vehicles,” she said. “I don’t think they knew what they were stealing.”
The loss is estimated at $30,000. The families are offering a $1,500 reward for information leading to the trailer’s recovery.
In the Wasilla case, someone drove off with a black, 16-foot trailer that carried items belonging to Cub Scout Pack 369, KTVA in Anchorage reported.
The trailer held camping gear and $2,000 to $3,000 worth of Cub Scout popcorn that scouts were preparing to deliver after weeks of taking orders. The boys were fund-raising to attend camp.
Troopers are attempting to contact the scout leader for details, Peters said.