$350,000 worth of tools stolen from work vans in Philadelphia (PHOTOS)
PHILADELPHIA - March 18, 2013 -- What looks like the stock room of a Lowes or Home Depot is really tens of thousands of dollars worth of power drills, compressors and even work boots from stolen vans in Philadelphia and Bucks County.
"I was supposed to go to work in the morning and went there and my truck was missing," Abraham Mathew, driver for Bright Medical in Rhawnhurst and theft victim, said.
Philadelphia and Bensalem police investigators say since January of last year the same thieves swiped at least 52 Ford Econoline and Chevy Express contractor vans.
Some were taken for parts like speakers, but most were wanted for the expensive tools they carried.
In all, investigators say some $350,000 worth of tools have been stolen.
Last month, officers tracked down the stolen items at homes in the Feltonville section of the city and Croydon in Bucks.
Mathew says his truck was packed with medical supplies.
On Monday, he recovered just a few boxes from Major Crimes Auto Squad in Hunting Park.
"I feel bad for everybody. You can't go to work and seeing all that product sitting there I feel bad for everyone who lost their stuff," Mathew said.
Officer Stephen Mancuso says the squad is in the process of getting arrest warrants to take down the two suspected ringleaders.
"Based on our one execution of the search warrant, it looked like he had a store set up in his basement and he was just making money selling them," Mancuso said.
Officers are still working to get tools back into the hands of their owners.
Police released the following list of names and initials found on various unclaimed tools:
If you're on this list, police say your stolen property is waiting.
Anyone who wants to view the tools can do so by coming to Major Crimes Auto Squad, 4298 Macalester St. Phila. 19124 from Wednesday, March 20th through Friday, March 22nd from 12pm-8pm. Complainants must provide identification and copy of theft report.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Major Crimes Auto Squad at 215-685-9130 or 215-685- 9133.
philadelphia, theft, local/state
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