5 men arrested in FBI raids in Toledo; 1 on the run - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

5 men arrested in FBI raids in Toledo; 1 on the run

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The FBI executed a crime sweep titled Operation Semi Load on Thursday in Toledo. Along with state and local authorities, the FBI arrested five men suspected of operating a semi-truck and cargo theft ring. A sixth suspect is still on the loose.

The suspects are accused of stealing semi-trucks and their cargo, dismantling them, and selling them to scrap dealers or listing them for sale on the Internet.

"They would chop them and sell them for scrap," says Joseph Callahan with the FBI.

The men arrested are 54-year-old Mike Wymer, 37-year-old Mike Deutsch, 28-year-old Terry Wymer Jr., 27-year-old Shawn Wymer and 55-year-old Gary Wymer Sr. A warrant has been issued for the sixth suspect, 47-year-old Robert Debolt.

According to the criminal complaint, investigators tracked the men on surveillance video, as well as with GPS units on their cars.

The FBI says this is only the beginning of an investigation that has a significant effect on the economy.

The men are accused of stealing more than $2 million worth of trailers and their cargo, such as ATVs, rolled copper wire, and thousands of pounds of aluminum scrap metal. It happened a four month period from September of 2012 through December of 2012.

"They're suspected of being involved in conspiracy to steal trailers in as many as nine towns throughout the state of Ohio, six towns in Indiana, and three towns in Michigan," says Major Michael Baker with the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

FBI, Ohio State Highway Patrol, and Toledo Police executed search warrants at three Toledo locations Thursday morning.

One was at an alleged chop shop on the East Side on Consaul Street.

Items of interest include keys, titles, license plates, paperwork from stolen semi-trucks and trailers, ATVs, motorcycles, crushers, front end loaders, and dump trucks.

Neighbors say they're shocked because they thought they lived next to a legitimate business.

"They were crushing stuff a lot and then they had semi trucks that drove in there, but that's all I know of what's going on," says John Martindale, who can see the fenced-in yard on Consaul from his home.

The second location raided on Thursday morning was another alleged chop shop on Sterling Street just off of the Trail. The third site was just across the street on Sterling at the home of one of the suspects, Mike Wymer.

"I was shocked to hear that because I had no idea," says Clarence Strong, a neighbor. "People making around like a regular workshop. Nothing extraordinary, no."

"We are well aware this enterprise extends much larger than the six individuals that were charged today. If you are connected to this criminal organization, have associated or dealt with them, come sit down with us before we've got to come out and find you," says Joseph Callahan with the FBI.

The suspects face charges of interstate transportation and stolen property. The federal complaint was filed in U.S. Court, Northern District of Ohio.

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