By: Melina Matthes
OMAHA (kptm) - A thief is targeting company vehicles, stealing tools and machinery. Police say nearly a dozen work trucks around the metro were broken into within just a few days.
Fox 42 News spoke with one man who realized he'd been robbed when he found his work truck left open and his tools gone.
One small business owner found out he was one of nearly a dozen companies whose work trucks were broken into. He said he was parked along the street outside his house when the crook nonchalantly went up to his vehicle started rummaging through and took off with approximately $3,000 worth of tools and materials.
"How do you do that? How do you just go around take people's stuff nonchalantly? I work really hard for what I have and to watch somebody just walk up and take it, it's aggravating," owner of Tesla Systems, David Haidley said.
What the thief didn't realize, he was caught on camera.
Haidley says in just under two minutes the thief broke in and loaded his truck with loot. "I was kind of amazed with how casual he seemed with it, didn't seem like a big deal for him to do it."
Haidley says he's typically very aware of his surroundings. He has security cameras on his house and he says he always locks his truck. His one regret? Parking on the street. Officer James Shade with the Omaha police department said, "if you do have to bring your vehicle home, we would suggest that you do park it inside of a garage. A lot of people know when you have a commercial advertising on the outside of a vehicle that you're going to have a lot of tools or other things inside."
"Honestly I'm a bit angry, it's frustrating a lot of the tools he got I'd collected over 15-20 years," Haidley said.
He worries his tools will end up at a pawnshop. Officer Shade says detectives work closely with area stores. They also monitor online auctions like EBay and Craigslist to catch criminals. "They are looking to verify the reports that people have turned in on missing and stolen items, with whatever's being sold in those certain areas. It is a process but the detectives we have are bar none top notch."
And if it looks to good to be true, "it probably is, so protect yourself so that you're not buying stolen items, when that does happen, you're out that cash and that property is returned back to the rightful owner," Shade said.
Haidley said it took him years to build his company up from the ground. He worries this thief might approach other vehicles around town, specifically small businesses. He encourages anyone with information to turn him in.
Investigators say the thief stole mostly drills, wires, and saws. Police reports claim nearly $25,000 worth of tools were stolen from just 5 vehicles.
Police encourage you to call Crime Stoppers at 444-STOP if you have any tips that could catch this crook.
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