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Tractor of liquor-laden freight rig turns up in Benson

Posted May 8, 2008
Updated May 9, 2008

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— The tractor unit of a stolen tractor-trailer rig was found Thursday in Benson, but its semi-trailer – loaded with $150,000 in liquor – was still missing.

The rig's driver parked it left overnight May 1 in a lot behind a Bojangles' near the intersection of U.S. Highway 70 Business and Shotwell Road, detectives said. When the driver returned the next day, the truck was gone.

A citizen called 911 at about 7:30 a.m. Thursday, saying a truck had been parked near a business entrance for several days. A Johnston County sheriff's deputy responded and found the tractor near the intersection of Interstate 40 and N.C. Highway 210.

The 2006 Volvo truck had been hauling a large cargo of liquor when it was taken. Detectives said they hope surveillance cameras at nearby gas stations will provide clues about the theft.

There is evidence the truck was broken into and hot-wired, detectives said. Fingerprint tests were also conducted inside the cab of the recovered tractor.

Word of the unusual heist spread quickly throughout Johnston County.

“Sounds like if you were going to steal something, that's the truck to go with,” trucker Edward Brown said.

When he needs to rest, he uses the lot the truck was stolen from, Brown said. However, he said he is not worried about someone targeting his cargo.

“Somebody probably knew liquor was in the truck and that was what they went for. As far as stealing any other trucks in the area, I would tend to doubt it,” he said.

The 53-foot missing trailer is white and chrome with a Cowan Systems company logo on the back doors and Maine license plate 0975737. The trailer is valued at $100,000.

Police withheld the name of the truck driver, and he is not a suspect at this time, detectives said.

It was originally thought that $500,000 worth of liquor was in the trailer. Cowan Systems has since lowered that estimate to $150,000.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Detective Jason Barnes of the Clayton Police Department at 919-553-1570.

13 Comments

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  • ConcernedNCC May 9, 2008

    It's me again,
    If they can see the truck for long enough to know it's been there for days, I'm sure they could have used a phone book at some point.

  • Politically Honest NOT PC May 9, 2008

    I40/NC210 is closer to Angier than it is Benson. I guess given the history that Benson has for drugs and alchohol, it was easier to say Benson.

    Look for the biggest, baddest party in the area or wait a couple of days and look for an area with the most hangovers, and you will find the thieves.

  • vbuchanan1969 May 9, 2008

    Sounds like a few of those good ole Johnson County boys getting even!!! The cops are always taking their liquor and smashing their stills! Sounds like they got some of that government taxed liquor this time!!!

  • uncbabie May 9, 2008

    I know my non-emergency number. Sometimes it gets a quicker response out of the police than 911 (which is sad).

  • moonpie May 9, 2008

    maybe they'll dump it all in a ditch...

  • dwntwnboy May 9, 2008

    Easy crime to solve....look for the biggest, baddest cocktail party Johnston County has ever seen.

  • beachboater May 9, 2008

    Whoever took that is going to get hammered.

    Whether they get caught or not. :-)

  • DayumKrazy1 May 9, 2008

    Johnston county is NOT a dry county as far as liquor sales is concerned..they sell it there too but obviously someone knew of this truck/trailor and as of right now have pulled off what they set out to do. Just look for the biggest party in that area, might find out then who took it!

  • slappyh99 May 9, 2008

    Rumor has it that the trailer was loaded with Absolute Vodka. Not really the rot-gut some believed it to be.

  • Its me again May 9, 2008

    "Why would someone call 911 to report a long-term parking problem? That's why the 911 operators are so busy and bogged down; people have no idea when it's appropriate to call in an emergency"
    Memory dog, a 4 yr old can remember it, whats the non-emegency # to your local law enforcement officials? I know it's in the phone book,but we're a nation of lazy bums,to lazy or busy to look it up. Program it in your cell or write it down beside your house phone.Use 911 only in a emergency.By the way,been to a hospital emergency waiting room lately. Not many emergencies there either. But thats another subject.

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