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Thieves steal truck filters - just for the platinum?

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois Trucking Topics:  Bull Valley Ford

Thieves steal truck filters - just for the platinum?

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
October 13, 2012

It's always easy to close the barn door after the horse has been stolen...

Thursday morning's Northwest Herald reported the theft of 26 diesel engine filters from trucks parked on the Bull Valley Ford parking lot last week-end.

So, let's see. The theft is discovered on Monday morning. Readers hear about it on Thursday morning.

An estimated $100,000 worth of diesel particulate filters were filched. The owner of Bull Valley Ford said the filters weigh about 100 pounds each and that the thieves had to be pros. He was quoted as wondering how thieves could physically steal that many, that quickly.

OK, so how quickly? Did they steal one filter from each of 26 trucks? How long does it take to remove one? What "power tools" were needed? Were the trucks locked? Were engine compartments accessible without unlocking the trucks? What is the physical size of the filter? How large a truck was probably needed to haul those 26 100-lb. filters away? How much platinum can be salvaged from each filter?

Pneumatic tools? They make noise.

The theft is thought to have occurred overnight on Saturday. How did they arrive at that (and not overnight Sunday)? The thefts were discovered, when an employee attempted to start a truck on Monday morning.

The article reported, "Police agencies in southern Wisconsin have recorded similar thefts."

What "southern Wisconsin" police agencies? Were McHenry County truck dealerships or law enforcement agencies alerted?

Even with this major theft, it might not set a record in Woodstock. Each month the Woodstock Police report Stolen Property Value and Recovered Property Value to the City Manager, for forwarding to the City Council.

In the past 4 1/2 years the month with the largest Stolen Property Value was February 2009, when that number hit $152,019. The highest stolen property months since then were October 2010 ($67,939), May 2011 $68,657, and June 2012 ($73,053).

How much property has been stolen in 4 1/2 years? $1,507,343 (an average of $28,987/month).

How much property is recovered? 17%, on the average.

Since April 2008 $255,746 has been recovered (an average of $4,918/month).

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