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Owner tracks down stolen trailer on Craigslist, sets up meeting with alleged thief at Moorhead DQ

MOORHEAD - Police say a Barnesville, Minn., man whose car trailer was stolen Sunday found it for sale on the Web site Craigslist and arranged to buy it Monday at a Moorhead Dairy Queen, where police arrested the alleged thief.

Alex Fankhanel told police that the trailer, which belongs to his father, had been stolen from the alley behind his residence in Barnesville at about 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Moorhead Police Lt. Tory Jacobson said.

Fankhanel found the trailer for sale on Craiglist and contacted the seller, getting a description to make sure it was the same trailer.

They arranged to meet in the parking lot of the Dairy Queen at 24 8th St. S. in downtown Moorhead to discuss the sale and the advertised price of $650.

Fankhanel contacted police at about 7:40 p.m. Monday when the seller showed up with the trailer.

Police arrested 23-year-old Joshua Rector of Fargo on suspicion of felony possession of stolen property. He also had a warrant from Minnesota's Dakota County for speeding and driving after revocation.

Jacobson said police appreciated that Fankhanel took the initiative to search for his stolen property online and didn't personally confront the suspect without police assistance.

"Whether thieves try to utilize online venues or local pawn shops, we certainly appreciate victims taking the time to attempt to locate their property and helping us catch those responsible," Jacobson said in a news release.