Florida authorities search for stolen truck carrying 180,000 eggs

By Greg Grisolano, Land Line staff writer | 4/2/2014

Joe Carlisle said he usually parks his truck near the sheriff’s office in his hometown of Fort Myers, Fla., figuring the proximity to law enforcement would scare away would-be thieves.

But Carlisle said he wasn’t able to park in his usual spot when he pulled into town on the night of Friday, March 28, because the area was “full of RV’s and campers, from the snowbirds leaving to go north.”

Instead, Carlisle said he drove his rig, a blue 1999 Volvo 770, and white 2012 Great Dane reefer loaded with 180,000 eggs to a dead-end street less than a mile from his neighborhood, so he could spend the weekend with his wife and 15-year-old son. The neighborhood has strict policies in place against parking trucks along its streets.

“You’re not allowed any semi-trucks, boats, anything to be parked in the street,” he said. “Which I can understand, to a point.”

Carlisle said he parked the rig at the intersection of Gladiola and Summerland Roads, behind a 7-Eleven convenience store, at about 11:30 p.m. Friday. He said he checked on the load again at 10 p.m. on Saturday, but when he returned about 11 p.m. on Sunday night, both the truck and trailer were missing.

“I ran over to a (Lee County Sheriff’s deputy) who was writing tickets to two cars at the 7-11 and asked him to find out if anybody towed it,” he said.

Carlisle said there were no cameras behind the 7-Eleven to capture the theft. He estimated the truck cost about $250,000.

“I’ve been trucking on and off for 30 years, and I’ve never had this happen before,” Carlisle said. “It’s not a good feeling. I know I am done trucking. I’m not going to live wondering if I walk into a truck stop or a shipper, if I come out if that truck’s going to be sitting there. Even if it had tracking systems on it and everything else, there I am standing God knows where.

“Fortunately I could get home,” he said. “If I’m a thousand miles away and it happens, there I am standing on a street corner with what I have on. I’m done with that.”

The truck was owned by OOIDA Member Robert “Jeff” Shoff, of R.J. Shoff Trucking in Windsor, Pa., which operates a three-truck fleet running primarily along the Atlantic region.

OOIDA has issued a TRACER Alert for the stolen vehicle, which has “RJ Shoff Trucking” on the doors. The tractor also has a Tripac APU, and the trailer features a Thermo King unit and “#57” decal. The truck has a Pennsylvania plate AF70781, and VIN number 4VG70ACJ3XN762188. The trailer has a Virginia plate PT2816V, and a VIN number of 1GRAA062XCW705115.

A $500 reward is being offered for information leading to the recovery of this item. Call 202-246-2698, or call the Lee County Sheriff's Office at (239) 477-1000.

TRACER, the Transportation Alert Communication and Emergency Response program, was launched in 2009 by OOIDA. The program is a two-way communication system that sends alerts to members and coordinates information received from trucking members.

Members can sign up to receive text messages and email alerts for truck thefts and missing persons.

Truckers may call the TRACER hotline at 866-950-2291 or visit tracersystem.us to get the latest advisory or if they have information to report about stolen cargo or missing persons, etc.

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