October 21, 2021

U-Haul trailer turns up after 14 years

Dan Lyon/contributing photographer

After 14 years, this stolen U-Haul trailer has found its way back to Hartley’s Auto and RV Center in Polkville.

POLKVILLE — The trailer was returned Friday, just a little overdue: 14 years.
And the late fees? About $165,000.

A U-Haul trailer wound up Friday in Polkville 14 years after it was stolen, said Mitchell Gosser, a U-Haul serviceman with Hartley Auto and RV Center on Route 11 in Polkville. “It was dropped off in Syracuse last month,” Gosser said.

Gosser said Hartley did not have a U-Haul 14 years ago. However, the trailer needed to be returned to the county it was stolen from, said Adam Kress, a U-Haul service writer at Hartley.

Before being dropped off, the 6- by 12-foot trailer was spotted last month in Norwich. Two weeks ago, it was brought to Cortland by a U-Haul office in Syracuse and on Friday, U-Haul filed a report with the Cortland County Sheriff’s Office.

Gosser said the in-town rental fee for the trailer would be $30 a day. If someone had rented the trailer and did not return it, a late fee of $30 would be charged daily. After the 14 years, the bill would be around $153,000 before taxes, closer to $165,000 with taxes.

However, if someone returns a trailer to a different location they can receive an additional wrong destination fee. “It could range to a couple hundred dollars to more,” Gosser said.

Kress said the trailer returned Friday, if brand new, would be valued around $2,000.

The trailer will now be dismantled and recycled, Kress said. “It’s been gone for so long it’s in pretty rough shape.”