Theft Puts Man Out Of Business

By: Alicia Myers Email
By: Alicia Myers Email

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Monday, November 15, 2010

Thieves targeted a Sedgwick County man's business, getting away with $100,000 in equipment.

It happened sometime over the weekend. Now, the business owner is concerned the burglary could put him out of business.

Steve Jett said the thieves that broke into his business knew what they were doing. They knew what to take, and what to leave behind. That includes a questionable future now that he is without the tools necessary to survive.

Early Monday morning, Jett, owner of Transplant Transmissions, entered the back door of his business, gearing up for what he thought would be another work week.

"I noticed the tool box that had been locked Friday evening, the drawers were open. I thought that was kind of strange," said Jett.

Jett said the building looked like someone had been inside.

"I immediately went to the back door, it was locked. I went to the front door, it was locked and boarded," said Jett.

How could tools be missing if the doors had not been broken-into?

"We have a welder that plugs in here, a big commercial welder right in this area, and that's what I came in to see if they had gotten in," said Jett as he showed where the welder was kept.

Jett said that was when he spotted the thieves' entrance, right on the other side of the wall.

"You see how the screws hold the panels in? They've taken the screws out of the panels and pried the wall open," said Jett.

The thieves then made their way inside, opened the electric shop doors, backed out a client's pick-up, and filled it with $100,000 worth of tools and equipment.

Some equipment, Jett had been collecting for 40 years.

"It's more than just the tools," said Jett.

It is also his livelihood. Jett's scanner, the one item he needs to earn a living is now gone.

"Without that, basically, I can't analyze a vehicle. It basically puts us out of business until we can replace certain tools. Certain tools will have to be replaced immediately just to keep the doors open," said Jett.

The Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office is still searching for the stolen pick-up. It is described as a 1992 white Chevy S-10 with 4 x 4 written in black letters on the back, and has over-sized tires.

If you know who may be responsible for the theft, or see the vehicle, call Crimestoppers at 267-2111.

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