Las Vegas (KLAS)– The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department reported nearly 10,000 vehicle thefts within its jurisdiction this year. But, what happens when that vehicle is actually a business?
One East Valley business owner faced this reality just days before the Christmas holiday.
Berry Cotner started JB Service as recently as six months ago, a mobile auto mechanic business that serves several commercial businesses in the valley. “I don’t have a job,” he said without his truck.
When he opened his front door Thursday morning, his truck and an estimated $20,000 worth of tools and equipment inside were missing.
“I called my wife and I was like, ‘Please say you’re playing a joke on me,'” Kotner said Friday morning outside his home, recalling the chaotic morning when he realized his mobile Business was missing.
He said the truck was parked in the same position in front of his house every day, with a doorbell camera pointed in its direction. But, when he reviewed the footage from the suspected night of the burglary, the burglary itself was not captured.
Instead, it appears to be parked at 4:20am, then gone at 4:30am.
“There’s no plastic or anything where they might have broken into the door,” Cotner said, examining the empty parking lot. “So, whoever did this, they knew what they were doing.”
Mobile business also has emotional value. He said the truck was passed down from his father, who did the same job for 25 years. Cotner outfitted it with shelving and spaces for his tools when he took over ownership.
Now, the solo-small business owner is fearing whether he’ll ever make it, and if not, how he’ll support his family financially.
“I’m a one-man show,” Cotner said. “I don’t have any backup. It’s just me taking care of my family, and without my truck, I can’t make any money. I can’t pay my bills.”
“So I was really hoping I’d hear back tomorrow or today, because I think the further it goes into the holidays, the less I [there’s] Chances are someone is watching.
When asked what he would say to the criminal or responsible convicts, he said “Just throw it somewhere, bring it back. Whatever you’ve already stolen, I’ll forgive it. I need to pay my bills.” All you need is your truck.
Anyone who sees the truck can call the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, or call Crime Stoppers anonymously at (702) 385-5555.