Florida authorities recover stolen tractors and trailers

| 9/26/2002

Tampa police have recovered more than $1 million in tractors, trailers, forklifts and box trucks they say were stolen over the past 18 months in what was likely a statewide ring.

Louis Natal was charged Sept. 23 with multiple counts of grand theft, possessing stolen property and altering vehicle identification numbers, according to a published report. No one else has been charged, but the investigation was ongoing and more arrests were expected.

A tip about a stolen forklift led auto theft detectives to Natal's business, Natal Express Inc. Detectives found three forklifts, 12 semitrailers, seven tractors and a single-body truck, all allegedly stolen.

They also found 22 pallets of marble slabs worth $200,000 inside one trailer. Tools allegedly used to alter VIN numbers were also confiscated.