Owners searching for solution as Broward plumbing businesses targeted by thieves in 1 week


FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – In just one week, two Broward County plumbing companies suffered a huge financial setback when their vehicles were broken into and tools stolen.

Paradise Plumbing general manager Jason Rich told Local 10 News the burglary happened while his employee was making a service call last Wednesday.

Rich said he walked into a cracked passenger-side window, shattered glass and thousands of dollars in tools and equipment stolen from one of his plumbing service vans.

“We received a call from our technician telling us that his truck’s window had been smashed and that his camera, duct equipment and monitor had been stolen from his vehicle,” he said.

According to Rich, the thieves were able to steal the company’s most prized tools as soon as they entered the home. specific items that Rich and his father believe the thieves were looking for.

“We get to the vehicle and find that the vehicle has been broken into. They broke that window and got in the back of that truck,” he said.

Rich said the company suffered about $15,000 in total losses and damages.

Business owners told Local 10 News that thieves are targeting vans, looking for high-priced items like a tracker, drain cleaners and cameras worth up to $10,000.

“They’re your daily necessities for clearing a drain backlog and checking the quality of the sewage system,” Rich said. “It is very typical that every vehicle has one on it.”

The latest break-in came within a week after thieves broke into 10 vans owned by John the Plumber, a family-run plumbing business in Pompano Beach.

Local 10 News obtained surveillance video of the thieves using a blowtorch to pry through locks securing several service vans and cut them.

Another thief entered to pry open the doors before they both entered with several expensive pieces of equipment.

Mike Krobatsch, owner of John the Plumber, told Local 10 News that nearly $30,000 worth of tools and equipment was stolen.

“We’ve got to get these guys[because]this has to stop,” Rich said. “It’s an ongoing thing (and) these thieves are looking for plumber’s vehicles.”

According to Rich, while this is obviously a financial loss, it is even more debilitating for businesses because without the necessary tools, employees are unable to get the job done and recover from their losses.

Detectives are asking anyone with information about the thieves to contact Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-8477.

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