WICHITA, Kan. -- A Wichita man who spotted the trailer stolen from him last week, called 911 and then watched as the suspect sped away in a police chase now has his trailer back.
John White has already invested in better hitch locks and will soon add a wheel lock to the 14-foot cargo trailer he uses for everything from camping to carting his band's gear around. He said Monday he is just grateful he didn't have to spring for a new trailer.
"It was a ride," White said. "It was a ride all weekend long."
White's ride was on an emotional roller coaster. His trailer was stolen late Feb. 8 or early Feb. 9 from the parking lot of a hotel at Kellogg and Rock Road. Thursday, he spotted it being pulled behind a truck at Harry and West Street. White called 911 and then followed his stolen trailer to a south Wichita scrap yard.
As officers arrived, the suspect jumped back in his truck and sped away. Police called the chase off over safety concerns.
White assumed then the trailer was gone for good. However, he received a call Saturday from Tammy Anderson. She thought the trailer parked along the curb in her neighborhood near 25th and Hood might be his.
Anderson and her neighbor noticed the trailer Thursday. She thought it was there because her neighbor had just moved in. The neighbor thought it was there because Anderson was remodeling her home. Anderson then saw a Facebook post about White's stolen trailer and gave him a call.
A few hours later, police released the trailer back to White.
"It's been up and down," White said of the experience. "I didn't know. I thought the window of opportunity may have left us, but we got lucky. Good things do happen, I guess."
The thief took a generator that was inside the trailer, but a boat motor, lawn chairs and microphone stands were still inside. Mostly, White was pleased to have the trailer returned.
"I know it was a fairy tale ending because, most of the time, you don't get things like that back," he said. "Either it's out-of-town, chopped up, or just on the highway gone."
White said knowing there were people keeping an eye open for his stolen trailer shows him there are a lot of good people in Wichita.
"There's bad people that steal trailers, but there's very good people," he said. "So, keep the faith and pay it forward and just be nice to people because it will come back to you."