Deputies: Man stole $117K in equipment from East Naples storage lot

Writer: Derrick Shaw
Rusty Williams (Credit: CCSO booking photo)

A suspect who Collier County deputies say stole over $117,000 in construction equipment used a relative’s keypad code to get in to the storage lot where the equipment was being kept.

Rusty Williams, 39, of Golden Gate Estates, is charged with grand theft over $100,000. He is a registered convicted felon out of Florida, arrest records show.

According to the sheriff’s office, the victim told detectives he parked his 2019 16-foot black tandem axle enclosed trailer in a secured, fenced and gated storage lot off Exchange Avenue on Dec. 10. When he returned the next day, the trailer was missing.

The trailer contained heavy-duty construction equipment including a shop blast machine, grinder, blades, hydraulic concrete shaver, chipping hammers, and chisels. The total value of the trailer and equipment was estimated at $117,600.

Detectives reviewed security video which showed a white Ford E-350 van stop outside the gate shortly before 8 p.m. Dec. 10. The van driver entered a code into the keypad that opened the gate. About 10 minutes later, the van left towing the victim’s trailer full of equipment. The van had a large scrape along the driver’s side and a rectangular sticker in the lower portion of the back left door.

Detectives say the code used to open the gate belonged to a relative of Williams, and that he drove a white E-350 van that matched the description of the suspect van. Williams also matched the description of the van driver on the security video.

The stolen trailer was found outside the Walmart at 3451 US-41 East in East Naples. Nearly all of the heavy-duty equipment was recovered.

The CCSO says Williams admitted to stealing the trailer. He remains in the Collier County Jail.

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