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Williams, AZ – On Saturday, June 22, 2013, Deputies of the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office, Williams Patrol District encountered suspicious vehicles in the Parks, AZ area. One of the vehicles, a U-Haul Truck left the scene when a Deputy tried to make contact with the occupants. The U-Haul was observed heading eastbound on I-40 and eventually was located abandoned at the parking lot of the Quality Inn. A search of the U-Haul revealed several hundred thousand dollars’ worth of electronics items which were later determined to have been stolen from a BNSF train.
The incident began at approximately 6:15 am on Saturday morning when a deputy was conducting regular neighborhood patrols in the Parks, AZ area. He observed at least two vehicles that were suspiciously parked; one of the vehicles was a U-Haul Truck. When the deputy tried to make contact with the occupants, the driver of the U-Haul Truck drove off at a high rate of speed.
Another deputy responding to assist the deputy in Parks observed the U-Haul on I-40 in the opposite direction of travel the deputy was driving. The deputy turned around to attempt to stop the U-Haul, but the truck exited I-40, Exit 163 and was abandoned in the parking lot of the Quality Inn hotel in Williams, AZ. The driver is suspected of having fled into the woods north of the hotel. The driver was not located during a search of the woods.
A member of the member of the Northern Arizona Street Crimes Task Force (also known as Metro), assisted the Sheriff’s Office in obtaining and executing a search warrant on the U-Haul truck. Items found in the truck included packaged electronics such as flat screen TV’s, speakers, car stereos, DVD players, etc. The exact value is not known but expected to be worth several hundred thousand dollars. The investigation revealed that these items had been stolen from a BNSF train at a location somewhere between Sanders, AZ and the Arizona-New Mexico state line. BNSF law enforcement responded to the location and took custody of the property.
The other vehicle and three individuals contacted in the Parks area were interviewed and released prior to the discovery of the stolen items. BNSF has taken jurisdiction of the investigation.
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Contact: Lieutenant Jim Coffey, 928-226-8730