Thieves Target Two Durham Home Depot Stores
Posted July 1, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT
DURHAM — Durham Police say careless customers are making life easy for a group of thieves at two home supply stores.
Criminals have stolen thousands of dollars worth of tools and equipment from contractor's trucks, and police want workers to take action to protect their property.
Over the past several week 14 robberies have been reported in the parking lots of two Durham Home Depot stores. Contractors hustling into the stores to grab a last minutes tool or supply have returned to their trucks to find missing tools and equipment.
"This is a crime of opportunity," Durham Police Cpt. Dwight Pettiford said. "The criminal is probably someone that is doing the same work that these people are doing. The tradesmen or gentlemen is going into the store to make a purchase, and he is in a hurry and leaving the vehicle there."
Police said that the trucks filled with expensive equipment are easy targets for the criminals.
One contractor rigged a locked metal cage on his truck to prevent thieves from taking equipment.
"Everyone in my line of work needs to secure their equipment," contractor Mark Carpenter said. "Especially small items like hedge clippers, chain saws or anything that can be picked up and run off with."
Durham police encourage citizens to report any individuals selling tools off of the street.