SHAWNEE, Okla. – An Oklahoma business could soon be forced to close their doors after a rash of thefts.
Heavy equipment thieves have hit them so many times that they’re having trouble keeping up.
Within this past week they’ve already been hit twice.
Surveillance cameras at the Shawnee Sawmill show two men working for more than two hours to steal the owner’s bulldozer and trailer.
“It’s the audacity of someone doing that. Especially in bright daylight, and secondly, the stupidity of it,” said Sawmill owner Tony Wall.
The crooks couldn’t get it right the first time.
Their two-tone Chevy truck with custom wheels and a chrome half bar couldn’t pull the bulldozer over an asphalt pile.
The thieves bailed after they couldn’t get the bulldozer. They came back the next night and dug it out.
“It’s disturbing to me,” said Wall. “You feel like you’ve been violated.”
His son, Tanner Wall, says he’s watched his dad try to make the sawmill work for six years now, constantly dealing with theft.
“My dad started the sawmill, and the idea was to employee 20 people,” said Tanner. “But, it’s been difficult.”
This latest loss puts the Shawnee Sawmill out nearly $30,000.
“When somebody steals the very tools that you make a profit with and that you employee people with, they might as well cut the jugular of the business,” said Wall.
Now, Wall fears the bad guys have won.
“It’s hard to keep all the balls in the air,” said Wall.
Still, he’s not closing his doors without a fight.
If you recognize the truck or see his bulldozer and turn in the men, he has a hefty reward waiting.
He will give $500 to anyone who turns the men in to police. They will get another $500 if the men are convicted.
Call Shawnee police if you have any clues.