FAIR HAVEN, N.Y. – A mobile home that was stolen from a Washington County parking lot was returned to its owner.
The 70 foot trailer was stolen from the parking lot of the Big Apple Diner on Route 4 in Hampton, N.Y. in September 2013. Washington County investigators were baffled how someone could carry out the crime.
Owner Mike Bilodeau said he was planning on selling the trailer in Vermont but ran into a snag when he had to undergo emergency surgery and was forced to leave the mobile home at the diner for seven weeks.
The mobile home travelled 800 miles from Washington County to York County, Pa. and back to Washington County.
Bilodeau said the case was solved with a call from a fellow mobile home dealer.
“He asked, ‘Have you seen your trailer?’” Bilodeau said. “I said I was about to give up.”
Bilodeau said his friend told him he had begun to suspect a former employee of his who had asked for a favor last fall. The employee wanted help with a permit to haul a deer camp.
“Daryl thought it was kind of weird, but he liked the guy, so he got him the permits,” Bilodeau explained.
It wasn’t until the employee was fired that Bilodeau’s friend Daryl began to put things together.
“He said maybe that deer camp wasn’t a deer camp, and he said ‘I have the permit. Maybe we can match the make and model,’” Bilodeau said.
The make and model turned out to be a match, and Bilodeau and Daryl went to Pennsylvania to get the mobile home back. But when they arrived, the accused former employee’s mother-in-law was living in the home.
New York police confirmed the Pennsylvania arrest, and Bilodeau said he will be going back to testify in court.