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Trailer reported stolen from Mesa Verde is recovered

A construction trailer reported stolen from Mesa Verde National Park Nov. 26 was recovered by law enforcement thanks to tips from the public. The investigation is ongoing. (Courtesy Mesa Verde National Park)
Public tips aided law enforcement investigation; valuable contents still missing

A construction trailer reported stolen from Mesa Verde National Park Nov. 26 has been recovered, but the valuable contents are missing, according to Montezuma County Sheriff Steve Nowlin.

The park reported that tips sent into a law enforcement hotline aided in the recovery of the 20-foot utility trailer. It was part of a project to clear hazardous rocks along the main roadway into the park.

The trailer was carrying two Honda generators and other equipment valued at more than $40,000, according to a park news release.

Nowlin said the trailer was found Dec. 1 after a tip led investigators to the 8000 block of U.S. Highway 491 south of Cortez. The contents of the trailer were missing.

The investigation is ongoing, and a suspect is being sought, Nowlin said.

He said the property owner knew the trailer was there but did not know it was stolen and is not the suspect.

The trailer was recovered without incident by sheriff’s deputies, Nowlin said, and was returned to the owner, identified as Rocky Mountain Sprayliners, of Cortez.

The ongoing investigation and trailer recovery are a combined effort between the Sheriff’s Office and U.S. Park Rangers at the park.

A black pickup truck is seen entering Mesa Verde National Park on Nov. 26, and is suspected in an investigation in the suspected theft of a construction trailer. (Courtesy Mesa Verde National Park)

A security camera at the park entrance shows a four-door black pickup truck entering the park at 2:48 a.m. on Nov. 26. A similar truck is then recorded on the video leaving the park with a white construction trailer at 3:25 a.m.

Additional tips are being sought in relation to the missing generators and equipment from the trailer, officials said.

“This is still an ongoing investigation and any information regarding those involved would be very helpful to investigators,” states a park Facebook post.

An anonymous tip line has been set up by the National Park Services Investigative Services Branch to aid in the investigation.

Call or text the National Park Service Tip Line at 888-653-0009. Report tips online at go.nps.gov/submitatip, or email tips to nps_isb@nps.gov.

Tips can also be called into the sheriff’s office at 970-565-8452

“Information from public is very helpful to investigators. If you have information that could help find those responsible, the park asks you to please submit a tip,” states the park news release. “You don't have to tell us who you are, but please tell us what you know.”