Crime

Host Rich Eisen’s 48-foot DirecTV production truck stolen in Miami Lakes, recovered later

This 48-foot tractor-trailer, a mobile television production unit named “Pacific” and operated by the company Sweetwater, has been stolen in Miami Lakes.
This 48-foot tractor-trailer, a mobile television production unit named “Pacific” and operated by the company Sweetwater, has been stolen in Miami Lakes. Miami-Dade Police

People steal the darnedest things, and South Florida certainly isn’t immune. But the early morning heist of a 48-foot, multimillion-dollar, state-of-the-art television production truck from the parking lot of a Miami Lakes hotel left a lot of people puzzled.

DirecTV and CBS sports broadcaster Rich Eisen wondered how he would do his Thursday show before the broadcast of the Miami Dolphins-Buffalo Bills football game at Sun Life Stadium. The truck’s owners, a production company named NEP, wondered as well: What could anyone possibly do with a truck that size?

“That’s a very good question we’d like to know the answer to,” said NEP marketing manager Meredith Knight.

And Miami-Dade police were left wondering where anyone would hide a several-ton 18-wheeler that’s almost 20 yards long and has a dark blue exterior with the word “Sweetwater” printed on it.

Just before 8 p.m. Wednesday, they got their answer. Police recovered the trailer in Northwest Dade and said it didn’t appear anything had been stolen or damaged, although the truck cab was still missing.

Knight said the show wouldn’t have missed a beat anyway, as another production truck from an alternate location was already on its way to Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, where the Dolphins play.

The Dolphins host the Bills Thursday night. Kickoff is set for 8:25 p.m.; the game will be aired on the NFL Network.

Eisen, a former ESPN broadcaster who now hosts The Rich Eisen Show for DirecTV, initially reported the truck missing in a tweet just past noon Wednesday.

“Breaking News. The satellite truck we had booked to do our show from Miami tomorrow has been stolen. This is not a drill,” Eisen wrote.

The truck is operated by a company called Sweetwater, a division of NEP, which DirecTV contracts out for Eisen’s telecasts. It’s used specifically for Eisen’s show, not the NFL Network or the local CBS affiliate’s broadcast of the football game.

Knight, the NEP representative, said directors and producers use the truck as a control room, and Eisen typically does the broadcast from a location outside the truck.

The truck, which NEP calls Pacific, was supposed to spend the night in the parking lot of the TownPlace Suites Hotel at 8079 NW 154th St., also in Miami Lakes. It was taken sometime between 10 p.m. Tuesday and 6 a.m. Wednesday.

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