"We've been on the hunt ever since, and are bound and determined we are going to find it," Mike Bilodeau said.
Bilodeau says he has been buying and selling mobile homes for 23 years. He has traveled across New England and recently bought a trailer in Pennsylvania for $50,000 cash.
"It's tan in color. It has a very unique front; it has like a double roof in the front with a bay window. So, it's a little bit different than your average singlewide," Bilodeau said.
The Vermont businessman had parked the mobile home at the Big Apple Diner in Hampton, N.Y. It was awaiting delivery to Vermont. Bilodeau says an emergency surgery delayed the move.
"After surgery, I started feeling a little better and had a couple buyers for this house. I wanted to come out and check on it, and got here and the lot was empty. And my heart sank down to my stomach," he said.
The mobile home was gone. Senior Investigator Bruce Hamilton of the Washington County Sheriff's Department says a witness saw a man hook the home up to a tractor-trailer and take off. Another witness saw the home down the road.
"In New York State on one of the side roads up there, they saw it go past where he was on Golf Course Road in the town of Hampton. And after that we have no idea where it has gone to at this point," Hamilton said.
Hamilton says they have been following several leads, but have still not located the 16 x 70-foot trailer. He says moving mobile homes in that area is common, and wouldn't necessarily catch someone's eye. But the thief had to have experience.
"Somebody definitely put some thought into this and they had a purpose for it," Hamilton said. "Whether they are trying to resell it or using it on their own property or just using it as a hunting camp. Somebody thought about this before it happened."
Bilodeau says he has been searching nonstop since the trailer went missing. He has even taken to the skies and searched by plane, but still, no leads. But he is hopeful that a $5,000 cash reward will get people talking.
"This has become quite a financial burden; $50,000 is a lot of money," Bilodeau said. "So, we are bound and determined we are going to find it."
Police say they believe the mobile home may still be local. To transport a trailer of that size in Vermont you need two sheriff escorts.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Washington County Sheriff's Department in New York at 518-746-2482.
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