Company burglarized; losses total over $48,000

OKEECHOBEE — A local construction company lost over $48,000 in tools, tires and wheels when thieves entered the property on Jan. 14 by cutting the lock on the front gate.

Deputy Devon Satallante, of the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO), indicated in his report that when the owners of the company showed up for work around 6:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 14, they found the open gate.

The next thing they noticed were two dump trucks, a pickup truck and a tractor semi were sitting on blocks because all of the wheels and tires had been stolen.

According to Deputy Satallante the thieves made off with 26 tires and wheels that were valued at approximately $600 each.

The owners also found some very expensive tools and equipment had been stolen from a pickup truck and a trailer parked on the property.

In all, the company’s estimated loss totaled $48,166.99.

One of the owners reportedly told the deputy he left the business around 7:45 p.m. Friday, Jan. 13.

Deputy Satallante estimated the theft occurred during the early morning hours of Jan. 14.

OCSO crime scene technicians were able to photograph some tire impressions leading to a trailer, as well as some shoe prints.

“All four trucks, along with the trailer, were processed for fingerprints,” pointed out Deputy Satallante.

The thieves apparently were trying to steal the trailer but couldn’t due to a flat tire, added the deputy’s report.

Twelve of the stolen tires and wheels were taken off a privately-owned dump truck.

The case has been assigned to OCSO Detective Howard Pickering.

If you have any information regarding this case, contact Detective Pickering at 863-763-3117.

Eric Kopp is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News

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