(L-R) Fred Bufford and Anthony Sears. Source: Jefferson County Sheriff's Office
JEFFERSON COUNTY, AL (WBRC) -
A man used GPS to track down his stolen trailer and lead authorities to the suspects, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office said Monday.
Anthony Sears, 53, and Fred Bufford, 52, were charged with receiving stolen property.
Charles Johnson called the sheriff's office Sunday morning to report his work trailer with $50,000 worth of tools and equipment had been stolen from his work site off of Lakeshore Parkway sometime Saturday night.
Ever since crews started building a fire station last summer, thieves have hit the construction site around five times.
After being the victim of a large theft last summer, Johnson installed a GPS device on his work trailer as "cheap insurance."
"It made me very angry and I was determined at that point to do something about it," Johnson said.
Once he heard about his trailer being stolen, Johnson got on his computer to track it.
"I looked online and saw where the trailer was located and I hopped in the car and drove out there," he said.
The GPS showed the trailer was at a home in the 200 block of Alegheny Drive in Forestdale. Johnson drove by the residence and spotted his trailer in the yard. He then drove to a safe location and called authorities.
When deputies got to the scene, they found 53-year-old Anthony Sears, who said the trailer wasn't his, but a friend had dropped it off the night before.
Deputies asked him to call that friend, and a few minutes later 52-year-old Fred Bufford arrived. They were both arrested for receiving stolen property.
"I just want them both to go to jail," Johnson said of the suspects.
Officials say they won't charge the men with theft because they're not sure if they stole the trailer, but the receiving stolen property charge is a felony.
Both Sears and Bufford have been released from jail on a $10,000 bond each.
Johnson said the situation has motivated him to purchase more GPS devices for his business, knowing that without it, he would never have gotten his trailer back.
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