Las Vegas (classes)— 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?
That’s the reality East Valley business owners face in the days leading up to the Christmas holiday.
Six months ago, Berry Cotner recently launched JB Service, a mobile auto repair business serving several commercial businesses throughout the valley. Without his truck, “I don’t have a job,” he said.
When he opened the front door Thursday morning, his truck was gone, along with an estimated $20,000 worth of tools and equipment inside.
“I called my wife and I said, ‘Please say you’re kidding me,'” Cotner said outside his home Friday morning, recounting the chaotic morning he realized his mobile business was gone.
He said the truck parked in the same spot in front of his house every day, with the doorbell camera pointed in its direction. But when he looked at footage from the night of the suspected theft, he didn’t capture the theft itself.
Instead, it was seen parked at 4:20am and left at 4:30am. He said his doorbell camera can’t detect motion beyond 30 feet, which is where the car is parked.
“There’s no plastic debris or anything they’d break in,” Kortner said as he inspected empty parking spaces. “So, whoever did it, they know what they’re doing.”
Mobile business also has sentimental value. He said the truck was passed down from his father who did the same job for 25 years. After Kortner took ownership, it was outfitted with shelving and room for equipment.
Now the lonely small business owner worries about whether it will be found and, if not, how he will support his family financially.
“I’m a one-man show,” Kortner said. “I don’t have backup. I take care of my family all by myself, I don’t make money without a truck. I can’t pay my bills.”
“That’s why I was really hoping to hear back yesterday or today, because I think the longer the holiday lasts, the less I think about it. [there’s] Chances are someone will watch. “
Asked what he would say to a culprit, or a culprit responsible, he said: “Throw it somewhere and bring it back. Whatever you have stolen, I will forgive. I just need my truck to pay my bills.”
Anyone who sees the truck is asked to call the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department or Crime Stoppers anonymously at (702) 385-5555.