December 2, 2023

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VA Man Pulled With Stolen Trailer, Tells Cops It’s A Repo, Let Go

Two men accused of stealing trailers from a pair of Salem businesses and repainting them have each resolved their case.

Alfred Lynn Cameron
Alfred Lynn Cameron

On Friday, Alfred Lynn Cameron of Rocky Mount pleaded no contest to grand larceny and received a three-year sentence, suspended after he serves 60 days.

He has been held in the Western Virginia Regional Jail since last fall, but online court records show he has additional criminal charges pending in Roanoke County and remains in custody without bond.

Cameron, 40, was convicted of stealing a food wagon from the Cheesesteak Factory restaurant on East Fourth Street in Salem.

The trailer was reported missing Aug. 29. In a summary of his evidence to the court, Salem Deputy Commonwealth Attorney Matthew Pollard said Roanoke police pulled Cameron over that same day, towing the trailer behind an SUV. Pollard said the trailer was attached to the vehicle using straps, not an attached hitch, but Cameron told officers he was repossessing it and was allowed to leave.

When Salem police later recovered the trailer, its stickers had been removed and it had been repainted black. Some kitchen equipment that had been inside was missing and still has not been recovered. As part of Cameron’s sentence, he must pay $1,700 in restitution to cover the cost of that machinery.

On Friday, Cheesesteak Factory employee James Morgan said that while the Salem restaurant remains open, it has been unable to resume food truck operations.

The trailer was taken just over two weeks after its owner, Chauncey Ray Savage, was killed in an Aug. 8 crash while riding his motorcycle on Williamson Road.

The same day that theft occurred, another trailer was taken from Quilting Essentials on Apperson Drive. It, too, was recovered quickly and found to have been repainted. Police arrested Frederick Maurice Lanning, 40, of Roanoke the same day it went missing.

Frederick Maurice Lanning
Frederick Maurice Lanning

In January, Lanning pleaded no contest in Salem to grand larceny, got two years in suspended time and was ordered to pay $1,343 in restitution. He, too, remains held on separate charges.

Pollard said police had investigated the possibility of a link between the two thefts but were unable to prove they were connected.

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