An equipment trailer for a wheelchair hockey league that was stolen last week in Shakopee has been recovered in Maple Grove, and the man accused of the theft is also suspected in a number of other property crimes, authorities said Wednesday.
The Minnesota PowerHockey League trailer was found late Tuesday afternoon as police were at a storage facility investigating another crime, said Maple Grove police Capt. Tracy Stille.
"It had been parked outside, and the plates were pulled, but the registration sticker was still on the tongue of the trailer," he said.
Also still in place was the large blue hockey league logo that adorns both sides of the white trailer, Stille added.
The recovered trailer held some hockey equipment and a snowblower, suggesting to Stille that there had been another theft victim.
Stille described the suspect as a convicted felon currently on probation and wanted in "potentially dozens" of thefts, most involving construction equipment left unattended at work sites. He has yet to be charged in the trailer theft as police continue compiling the case against him.
The captain said investigators also believe the man may have been carrying out the crimes "in combination with other people."
The trailer's theft occurred late Jan. 25 or early the next morning from outside a business on Eagle Creek Boulevard in Shakopee. It had been holding padded boards, hockey sticks, hockey nets, jerseys, speaker equipment, a scoreboard and other items.
Some of the equipment was found in varying condition about 25 miles to the north on a road near Wayzata High School. Some of it had been run over by vehicles and damaged.
League officials said the equipment inside the trailer was worth several thousand dollars, with the trailer worth another $3,000.
The trailer was secured to a fence during the off-season at Carburetion and Turbo Systems, said Steve Onsum, a league board member.
The league, whose players use electric-powered wheelchairs and compete in a gym using a whiffle ball, starts its season April 28 at the Crystal Community Center.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482