CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia Beach resident Frederick Lambert says he bought a $25,000 semi-truck for his son late last year.
He says it had been sitting at Frank’s Trucking Center in Chesapeake for a little less than three months as he worked to get all the necessary paperwork to use it for work.
However, on April 5 when he went to pick it up, it was gone.
Originally, he thought it had been towed, but he quickly realized that wasn’t the case.
Lambert says he’d been coming to the truck stop for years and was able to get a look at the surveillance footage from the night of April 4 that shows a person get in the truck and drive off.
Lambert says the truck’s key was with him when it happened.
“That’s what the police were asking me: ‘Well, you were the only one who had the key.’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, but look at this though: Why would I steal my own truck and strip it down? I don’t have no insurance on it so what purpose would I do that?’ But that’s just the questions we gotta ask,” Lambert recalled.
Lambert says he later found out one Freightliner key will fit multiple trucks depending on the make and model. He believes that’s how the person got away with it.
Hoping to track it down, Lambert drove around some local spots known in the trucking community.
He ultimately found his truck in a wooded area off Elmherst Lane and Laigh Road in Portsmouth.
He says he immediately called police.
“To take all that stuff apart, you’d need a generator, high-powered tools, and it’s loud,” explained Lambert.
Lambert, who’s contracted out by a container company, says he’d bought the truck so he and his son could have one. That way they could make double the amount of money.
“When you steal from people who are working hard to make a living? You steal from them and don’t care about it. Yeah, I want justice,” said Lambert.
Chesapeake police are investigating the incident and are still looking for a suspect.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP (1-888-562-5887) or submit a tip online.
The men have also started a GoFundMe page to raise money to help rebuild the business.