Two charged Tuesday with theft of area trailers

A routine traffic stop on Tuesday led to the arrest of two individuals on charges related to recent trailer thefts in the Fayette County area.
The office of Fayette County State’s Attorney Joshua Morrison filed three charges against Johnny L. Baker, 18, 808 N. 800th St., Shobonier, and also charged theft charges against a local 17-year-old juvenile.
Baker has been charged with:
• Vehicle theft conspiracy. It’s alleged that Baker “agreed with (a juvenile) to remove six vehicles from their owners,” with the charges alleging that a motor vehicle was used in the commission of the offense.
The charge is a Class 1 felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $25,000.
• Aggravated unlawful possession of stolen vehicle. It’s alleged that Baker, “a person not entitled to the possession of any three or more vehicles, possessed those vehicles, being six trailers, within a one-year period, knowing that those trailers were stolen.
This charge is also a Class 1 felony.
• Theft more than $500. It’s alleged that Baker stole cattle gates from Roberts Auto Body in Ramsey, with the value of the gates being between $500 and $10,000.
The charge is a Class 3 felony punishable by up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $25,000.
The juvenile has been charged in a juvenile petition, and juvenile records, under state law, are not open to the public.
Baker and the juvenile made their first appearances in court on Tuesday.
Morrison said that the arrests were made after a county deputy stopped Baker at Kennedy Boulevard and Fletcher Street when he noticed that a trailer Baker was pulling did not have operable lights.
The state’s attorney also said that it’s possible that the charges against at least one of the two individuals could be amended to include additional trailers.
According to Fayette County Sheriff Chris Smith, his office was assisted by the Vandalia Police Department and Centralia Police Department in making the arrests.
The arrests came a day after the Vandalia Police Department was called to the Vandalia Lake marina for a report of a suspicious vehicle.
According to Vandalia Police, the call was received at 2:28 a.m., and when an officer arrived at the scene, the vehicle was gone.
However, two flatbed trailers that were believed to have been stolen from Ramsey were in the area.
At that point, the sheriff’s office was contacted to investigate the mater.

Leave a Comment