FERRIS

Ferris Police has identified several persons of interest in the burglary of a storage facility.

The break-in was reported to police from management at the Storage Place on Jan. 15 after employees at the business found severe damage to the security fence.

“It has been the habit of the management of this business that they run the perimeter fence, and they check each and every storage unit for the signs of tampering,” Ferris Police investigator Walter Weiss said. “In this particular case, they discovered the back fence had been destroyed. Someone took a very powerful vehicle and just had flattened the fence.”

Weiss said a 20-foot travel trailer was stolen and on the south side of the complex a second trailer had the tongue lock cut off. The travel trailer was later found at the Driver’s Truck Stop, located at 3010 Interstate Highway 35E in Fort Worth on Jan. 22. Police are currently reviewing security camera footage from the truck stop.

Before the theft, Ferris Police officers were dispatched to a domestic-violence call. Through that call, Ferris Police officer Emily Hickman discovered a person of interest, which led police to a group of thefts taking place in neighboring cities. Ferris dispatcher Glenda Grindele found that the license plate of the stolen trailer had been run through the computer by the Haltom City Police Department.

Weiss explained that as Hickman continued to investigate the theft, she found two suspects had traveled from Haltom City and interacted with the third suspect who is a Ferris resident. Due to the case being still under investigation, the names of the suspects have not been released at this time. Weiss noted that arrests are pending.

“Soon afterward, law enforcement personnel in the Mineral Wells area started to contact us to talk about the suspects that we had. They had a trailer missing as well,” Weiss stated. “We are still searching for the tow vehicle, which we believe will have a lot of damage or at least the vehicle used to flatten the back fence. It struck the back fence so hard it ripped concrete out of the ground.”

Weiss noted that police believe the vehicle is a truck due to the impressions left on the ground. The prints showed that wheels sunk into the ground, indicating a heavy-weighted vehicle.

Ferris Police Chief Eddie Salazar stated the investigation has led police to establish a connection with the Palo Pinto County Sheriff’s Office.

“We have been chasing this trailer for a while. It was first seen in Haltom City. By the time we could get it into the computer to legally seize it the guys had left with the trailer,” Salazar said. “We found out on the names of the guys in Mineral Wells. So we sent Palo Pinto County to check the residence to see if the trailer was there and sure enough the trailer was there. By the time they were able to relay the information he (the suspect) was gone again.”

Salazar advises residents to have their property contained inside the trailer marked with a number known to them, so that police have a better chance of recovering the stolen property if it is pawned. He also suggests residents take photos of their trailers, which will help police if they are stolen.

Salazar stated that police were able to recover a different stolen trailer out a Mineral Wells that was dumped in Ferris on Jan. 19.

“The owner said the trailer was stolen a few days ago and it was parked at a storage unit. That is their MO,” Salazar said. “They will drive through there and see inside the fence and see what they want. They will knock down the fence, steal it, and they are gone. Unless the storage company calls and says, 'your trailer is missing' people don’t come in and check it once a day or once a week. It may go by several weeks before they check.”

Salazar stated that he wanted to recognize Hickman’s work in this case because she has gone above and beyond to help connect the suspects to the crime.

People with information about these thefts are asked to contact the Ferris Police Department at 972-544-2225. The department is located at 111 Ewing Street in Ferris.

If people have information but would like to remain anonymous, please contact Crime Stoppers of Ellis County at 972-937-7297. Crimes Stoppers pays cash for tips that help lead to an arrest.