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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Silver Springs man drives stolen U-Haul trailer to Maryland, deputies say

A 45-year-old Silver Springs man was arrested last week after he allegedly stole a U-Haul trailer in Marion County and drove it to Maryland.

On September 1, 2023, a Marion County Sheriff’s Office deputy responded to the U-Haul located at 11455 SE Highway 464C in Ocklawaha in reference to a stolen trailer. An employee told the deputy that the U-Haul trailer had been stolen at around 9:45 a.m. on August 23, 2023, according to the arrest report.

The employee stated that two suspects had previously made a reservation for the same type of trailer, and they were scheduled to pick it up at 10 a.m. on August 23rd. According to the employee’s statement, the two suspects cancelled their reservation prior to 10 a.m. that day.

The deputy reviewed the U-Haul facility’s video surveillance footage from the time of the theft and observed a silver SUV on the premises. A search of the vehicle’s tag number revealed that it was registered to Alberto Perez, Jr., according to the report.

Alberto Perez, Jr.
Alberto Perez, Jr.

The report stated that a man matching Perez’s description was observed on the video surveillance footage hooking up a 5×8 enclosed U-Haul trailer to the SUV, and a woman was standing outside the vehicle.

Perez and the woman were then observed entering the SUV and leaving the location with the stolen trailer. The business told the sheriff’s office that the reservation had been cancelled over the phone prior to the arrival of Perez and the woman, and no payment had been received, according to the report.

An MCSO corporal noted in the report that a copy of the trailer’s reservation was received by the sheriff’s office on September 14, 2023. The paperwork listed a Honda Pilot as the tow vehicle, which matched both Perez’s registered vehicle and the vehicle observed on the surveillance footage. The destination listed on the paperwork was a neighborhood in Baltimore, Maryland.

Later in the day on September 14th, the Baltimore Police Department contacted the Marion County Sheriff’s Office to advise that the stolen trailer had been recovered near the entrance of a U-Haul business in Baltimore. MCSO was informed that the trailer had been returned overnight by “unknown persons.”

A warrant was issued on October 11, 2023, and Perez was located and arrested over a month later on November 17, 2023. He was transported to Marion County Jail, and he was released the following day on $2,000 bond.

Perez is facing a felony charge for grand theft over $750 but less than $5,000.

A court date has not been scheduled yet, according to jail records.