(Newspress) The blue Volvo semi truck cab that vanished March 31 along with a load of 180,000 eggs from a Fort Myers location was found Saturday in a rural section of Homestead — minus the trailer and eggs.
Jeff Shoff, owner of RJ Shoff Trucking and the truck, came to the east coast of Florida Saturday after being notified of the recovery.
"It looks like they drove it through the woods," he said, noting he would make arrangements to have the truck towed back to his trucking business in Pennsylvania.
Shoff also pointed to Florida plates that were on the cab saying those were either stolen or belonged to the thief. The truck had Pennsylvania plates when it was taken.
The truck was taken from behind the 7-Eleven store at Gladiolus Drive and Summerlin Road March 30 or 31. The driver, Joe Carlisle of Fort Myers, had parked the truck there locked but with the refrigerated unit running while he went home blocks away to rest.
The truck was recovered after Alfredo Rivas, who works for a local plant company, contacted The News-Press by email Saturday.
"Today I went to a nursery on SW 344 ST west of 217 AVE, needless to say, a dirt road out in the middle of nowhere. I went to pick up some plants from a nursery at the end of this dirt road. Toward the end of this road I drove by a blue semi truck parked on the side under some trees. I didn't pay much attention until one of the migrant workers in the nursery asked me if I saw the truck parked outside, I said yes and he told me it was parked there since Monday." he said in his email.
Rivas said he searched the name on the side of the truck on the Internet which led him to a story in The News-Press.
"When I drove out I took a picture of the truck, I Googled the name on the side, R.J. Shoff and that led me to you. Your article which has a picture, confirmed what I thought, the same blue Volvo truck you had pictured in your article was the one I was looking at." Rivas said.
Rivas said he contacted Miami-Dade police who said they would send someone to check.
Shoff, who was in nearby Davie on a delivery, drove out to Homestead to meet with Rivas.
"I thanked him and tried to give him the $500 reward we just posted. He refused to take it," Shoff said. "He's a super wonderful guy."
The driver, Carlisle, also was glad the truck had been recovered. "I'm very happy about that." he said. "That was Jeff's pride and joy."
Shoff said he bought the truck and drove it for 10 years, putting about $65,000 in restorations before selling it. He bought it back three years ago for $20,000.
"Now I've got to start all over again," he said. "I will restore it."
Shoff hasn't forgotten the refrigerated trailer that had the 180,000 eggs. "I'm still hoping they find the trailer," he said.