CLAYTON – A thief who drove away with a large enclosed trailer parked behind a Downtown Clayton business stole more than he thought. On Sunday afternoon, August 7th, the suspect backed a U-Haul van up to the trailer behind Ragland Production Inc. at 250 W. Main Street. After a few minutes he drove away with the trailer.
Russell Ragland, the owner of Ragland Production, said the thief probably didn’t know the trailer contained a trackless train he had special ordered several years ago from a company outside of Atlanta, Georgia. The amusement-type train set included the engine and four cars where children could ride on.
Mr. Ragland said the special train was used multiple times each year at parades, festivals, school and church carnivals. At Christmas, it was decorated like the magical passenger train the Polar Express.
The company owns two trackless trains. Due to the demand, Mr. Ragland had to rent a second train from a friend to cover a recent event. He is also working with his insurance company to get reimbursed for the stolen train so he can order another one.
Ragland said the theft was captured on a security camera outside the store. The thief never looked in the trailer and likely was only after the trailer.
The stolen trailer also contained an air compressor and 12 portable fence sections. Altogether, the train and other items was valued at more than $49,000.
Anyone with information about the amusement train theft is asked to contact Clayton Police at 919-553-4611.