NEP Retrieves Stolen Sweetwater Pacific Trailer; Tractor Still Missing

According to NEP Broadcasting, the mobile-production provider has recovered the trailer of a 48-ft. mobile unit that went missing in Miami this week. It was in town support DIRECTV’s production of The Rich Eisen Show, which was onsite for last night’s Thursday Night Football game between the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium.

According to Mike Werteen, co-president, US Mobile Units, NEP Broadcasting, the trailer of the multimillion-dollar Sweetwater Pacific is believed to be intact, and initial inspections show that all the gear onboard appears to be unaffected. The front tractor has not yet been found, and the people responsible are still at large. An open investigation is under way by the Miami-Dade Police Department.

Sweetwater Pacific (seen here in a stock photo) disappeared from a Miami Lakes, FL, hotel parking lot this week.

Sweetwater Pacific (seen here in a stock photo) disappeared from a Miami Lakes, FL, hotel parking lot this week.

The unit went missing from the parking lot of the Courtyard by Marriott Miami Lakes Tuesday night sometime between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. The trailer was found by police approximately 20 miles from the hotel.

Shortly after it was discovered that the truck was missing, NEP began planning for an alternative mobile unit. It was able to enlist the help of Mobile TV Group to help cover the event. MTVG’s 33HDX, the truck that typically covers Miami Heat home games, was available and followed through with the production of The Rich Eisen Show.

“When the truck was found, there was an obvious sense of relief,” says Werteen. “But what really blew me away was the reminder that there’s so many competitors in the sports-production community but nobody wants to see a show be impacted. When this kind of situation happens, there’s a network of calls and communications that go out, and everyone we reached out to wanted to know what they could do to help.”

The Rich Eisen Show was scheduled to have a set day on Wednesday, but 33HDX was unavailable because of a Heat game that evening. Even so, the show still aired at its regular noon-3 p.m. ET timeslot on Thursday.

“We feel terrible about the whole situation; it’s very upsetting to everyone in the mobile industry when something like this occurs,” says Philip Garvin, GM/founder, Mobile TV Group. “We will do anything for any of our colleagues when this happens. There are always going to be emergencies, so it’s extremely important that we help each other.”

He adds that the established lines of communication between the industry’s directors of operations play a key role in helping when a scenario like the Sweetwater Pacific theft occurs.

“The directors of operations of all the mobile companies talk all the time and help each other on an almost daily basis,” he explains. “Although the industry is extremely competitive, it is also extremely collaborative. We heard about this pretty early on, and it just so happened that we had a truck open that day, so we were able to help them out.”

Additional reporting by Jason Dachman