Carolina Bridge Company based in Orangeburg, S.C., outfits their equipment with HCSS Telematics asset tracker units. The units hold a charge for three years and are simple to install onto equipment without engines.
A large trailer was stolen from one of Carolina Bridge’s laydown yards. It also happened to be hauling a fuel drum filled with 250 gallons of diesel fuel. What the thieves didn’t know, however, was that the trailer also held one of the company’s tiny tracking devices.
After contacting police, Carolina Bridge Vice President Dan Nickel turned to the HCSS Telematics website to see if he could pinpoint the trailer’s location alerts. After days of no contact, the ping finally appeared from inside a large facility on a very nice property that included a bull riding pen and a barn, about 10 miles from the original site. Nickel was able to locate it on Google Maps and notified the police of the location.
After issuing a search warrant, the police found more than just the stolen trailer and fuel drum inside. In operation was a massive moonshine still with more than 3,000 gallons of moonshine being produced.
“They use the stolen fuel to run the burners to cook the moonshine,” said Nickel. “You bring it up to a boil, and that’s how they distill it.”
Law enforcement hooked a wrecker up to all the moonshine equipment and pulled it out of the side of the barn.
“I’m not sure that they knocked the barn down when they did it, but I know they did a lot of damage to it,” said Nickel.
Producing this amount of moonshine at home for personal consumption is against federal law. It stands to reason that the thieves were charged with more than just stealing a trailer.
“We’ve had a lot stolen before so we hook HCSS Telematics up to our equipment,” continued Nickel. “We actually recovered a truck shortly after [this incident] that had been stolen that had GPS on it as well.”