Due to recent thefts of four wheelers, side-by-side utility vehicles, zero turn mowers and utility trailers in Vermilion parish and surrounding areas, Sheriff Mike Couvillon is urging residents of Vermilion Parish to be vigilant in securing these type of vehicles.
Whenever possible, it’s important to store these type of vehicles in a secure area, and remove any keys when not in use.
Sheriff Couvillon says that most stolen ATV’s are sold to individual buyers that should consider the following tips.
As a buyer of an ATV or similar type off road vehicle and/or similar types of movable properties from an individual, you should:
· When applicable, locate the VIN number (vehicle identification number) and call the Sheriff’s Office or your local Law enforcement agency to ensure that it is not stolen.
· Understand that, if you purchase something that is stolen, you could face criminal charges for possession of stolen goods, depending on the circumstances surrounding the purchase.
· Understand that the state of Louisiana issues the legal owner of an ATV, side-by-side, and utility trailers, an official title, and therefore, it is recommended to always make the purchase with the legal title of these types of properties signed over to the buyer in the presence of a notary.
Always keep a copy of the title (which includes the VIN number) along with photographs in a safe place for proof of ownership, to provide accurate information in the event of a theft, and for insurance purposes.
Detectives have been working with Local, State and Federal Law Enforcement Agencies, in an effort to identify, arrest, and prosecute those individuals involved in these thefts. Detectives are encouraging anyone with any information of a recent theft of these type of properties to contact the Vermilion Parish Sheriff’s Criminal Investigations Division at (337) 898-4403.