A unique key pad code used to gain entry to a storage lot helped lead to an arrest in the theft of a trailer full of construction equipment in East Naples.
Rusty Williams, 39, of 2260 Keane Ave., Golden Gate Estates, is charged with grand theft over $100,000. Williams is a registered convicted felon out of Florida, arrest records show.
Collier County Sheriff’s Office arrest reports gave this account:
The victim told detectives that he had parked his 2019 16-foot black tandem axel enclosed trailer in a secured, fenced and gated storage lot off Exchange Avenue on Dec. 10. When he returned the next day his trailer was missing.
The trailer contained heavy-duty construction equipment including a shop blast machine, grinder, blades, hydraulic concrete shaver, chipping hammers, and chisels. The total value of the trailer and equipment was estimated at $117,600.
Detectives reviewed security video which showed a white Ford E-350 van stop outside the gate shortly before 8 p.m. Dec. 10. The van driver entered a code into the keypad that opened the gate. About 10 minutes later the van left towing the victim’s trailer full of equipment. The van had a large scrape along the driver’s side and a rectangular sticker in the lower portion of the back left door.
Further investigation by detectives revealed that the code used to open the gate belonged to a relative of Williams. Detectives also learned that Williams drove a white E-350 van for work that matched the description of the suspect van. Williams also matched the description of the van driver on the security video.
On Monday, detectives located the stolen trailer parked outside the Walmart at 3451 U.S. 41 E. in East Naples. Nearly all of the heavy duty equipment was recovered.
On Tuesday, detectives located Williams at his residence where he provided a statement acknowledging his role in the theft of the trailer. He was taken into custody and booked into the Collier County jail on the felony charge.