Traffic stop leads officers to discover stolen U-Haul

A Doyle man was arrested on various charges this week after a traffic stop led officers to discover a stolen U-Haul trailer.

According to a statement from the California Highway Patrol, at about 9:50 a.m.Tuesday April 27, Sergeant Nolta and Officer Pratt were patrolling in the Doyle area and observed a Dodge pickup pulling a flatbed trailer approaching their location.

“As the Dodge passed them, they observed the pickup did not have any license plates. Officer Pratt conducted an enforcement stop, and the vehicle yielded into a residence on Laura Drive. Officer Pratt contacted the driver who was identified as Gary Mitchell, III. A driver license check showed that Mitchell’s driver license was suspended,” read the statement.

On the rear of the trailer, there was a burnt license plate that did not belong to the trailer. Mitchell allegedly admitted he put the burnt plate on the trailer to avoid getting pulled over. Officer Pratt asked about the trailer and Mitchell explained he had bought it for $300, the statement alleged. Officer Pratt was suspicious due to the low value of the purchase price, and had estimated the trailer to be in excess of $3,000.

After inspecting the trailer, which had been recently repainted, the statement alleged, Sergeant Nolta located identifying information on the trailer. A subsequent record search revealed the trailer was recently stolen from Orland, CA and belonged to U-Haul. All U-Haul decals had been removed or painted over.

Mitchell was arrested for possession of a stolen vehicle, false plates, suspended drivers license, and expired registration. He was booked into the Lassen Adult Facility and had a bail set at $60,000.