Viewer tips lead to recovery of trailer, unique cargo

7-31 trailer 4.JPG

DAYTON (WRGT) -- FOX 45 is Fighting Back and getting results.

We told you about this stolen trailer from Butler Township. Inside it was a custom frame to install a historic stained glass window at a church in Downtown Dayton.

Now, it's been found, thanks to a tip from viewers that led police straight to the stolen trailer.

Thieves stole the trailer from the parking lot of Drury Inn in Butler Township.

"It was just panic then about how do we discover this, how do we find it," said Craig Stowalter, Business Administrator for Westminster Presbyterian Church.

Stowalter said he panicked because two years of work on the frame had gone down the drain.

"It was unique, it was custom made. It's a six-month process to create that, so most difficult to get that replaced," said Stowalter.

After reaching out the trailer was found.

"The thought was let's get the word out to as many people as possible, let's let the news know," he said.

Stowalter said there was an immediate sense of relief and gratitude.

The tools in the trailer were gone, but the custom frame was still there.

"It's valuable to us, it's not valuable to the thieves in terms of the frame that we need to put this window back in," said Stowalter.

The owner of the trailer, Tim O'Neill, told us Sunday, July 31, this was the first time a trailer of his had been stolen in 40 years.

"It's like our stomach just dropped. I'm mean, we've all been basically sick all day," said Tim O'Neill, owner of Welton/O'Neill Studio. "It's not just the expense, it's the loss. I can't describe that. It's a total helplessness."

Now, church officials are thankful for their community and their help to fight back.

"It's kept my faith in the goodness of people," said Stowalter.

Work on the window is expected to start Tuesday.

The crew installing it will be working on it for the next 5 to 6 weeks.

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