Coconino County Sheriff's Office (CCSO) deputies recovered a U-Haul full of stolen electronics June 22 at the Quality Inn parking lot in Williams.
Deputies determined the stolen items came from a BNSF train and are worth several hundred thousand dollars.
The incident started at about 6:15 a.m. A deputy was on a regular patrol in the Parks area when he saw two vehicles, including the U-Haul, suspiciously parked off of the Interstate 40 Parks exit.
Lieutenant Jim Coffey of CCSO said the demeanor of the people in the vehicles was suspicious.
"They appeared to be nervous upon seeing (the deputy)," he said.
When the deputy tried to make contact with the occupants, the U-Haul driver drove away quickly.
A second deputy was traveling eastbound on I-40 to assist with the incident when he saw the U-Haul traveling westbound on I-40. The deputy turned around and saw the U-Haul exit I-40 at exit 163. The deputy found the abandoned truck in the parking lot of the Quality Inn. Officials believe the driver fled into the woods north of the hotel. They have not found the driver yet.
A member of the Northern Arizona Street Crimes Task Force helped the Sheriff's Office obtain a search warrant for the U-Haul. Deputies found packaged electronics in the truck, including flat screen TVs, speakers, car stereos and DVD players.
"We're just glad we could recover that for the owners," Coffey said, adding that the exact value of the electronics is unknown.
Officials believe someone stole the items from a BNSF train between Sanders, Ariz. and the Arizona-New Mexico border.
Before discovering the stolen items, deputies contacted three people from the other vehicle in the Parks area and released them after interviewing them.
Coffey called the three people investigative leads who may know more about the suspect in the U-Haul.
Coffey praised the work of the deputy in this incident.
"It was just a normal daily patrol," he said. "Our deputy did a good job of seeing something out of the ordinary and dealing with it. And in this case it ended up to be something rather large."