MURRAY — A couple of brothers had to buy expensive, new power tools for a second time after two thieves stole their equipment from the home they are remodeling in Murray. They hope surveillance video from neighbors’ cameras will help police catch the culprits.
Brian O'Keefe called it gut-wrenching to see his valuable tools stolen on camera. But he wanted to share his story so that others who may make the same mistakes are not victims too.
"They’re good at this," O’Keefe said of the burglars.
He and his brother are remodeling a home near 4700 S. Meadowview Road. He’ll live there soon. Right now, it’s a work site, targeted by thieves early Wednesday.
O’Keefe arrived at 7 a.m. that day.
"I ended up seeing that the garage was halfway open," he said. "I walked around the side of the house and saw that the back door was kicked in, and also the garage door. I knew right away what had happened."
In the garage, he said all of their main, expensive power tools were missing. The thieves swiped an expensive table saw, a miter saw, an air compressor, a chainsaw, and a $1,200 jackhammer. He estimates the thieves stole more than $4,000 worth of tools in all.
"It’s kind of gutting to go back and watch the video, to see them carrying your stuff off that you use every day," he said. "Then you have to go and replace it."
Surveillance video from neighbors’ cameras show the thief walking next to the house at 5:45 a.m. Ten minutes later, a red pickup truck backs into the driveway.
The thieves load up the truck, and take off two minutes later. They believe it is a newer, red Dodge crew cab. They cannot get a number from the license plate.
O’Keefe thinks the man who kicked in the door organized all of the tools in the garage.
"So, when they backed the truck up, it was a quick in-and-out," he said.
He also believes the thieves targeted his empty house. "It’s very obvious this house is being remodeled," he said.
According to police investigating a crime, homes under construction — and construction sites in general — are often targeted by burglars.
"They probably knew our times that we come and go," said O’Keefe.
He learned a couple of critical lessons the hard way. "From here on out," he said, "all of our tools are packed up, every day. Don’t leave anything on the site."
Police agreed: Anything left onsite must be secured.
O’Keefe had also neglected to record the serial numbers on his power tools. He’s now taking a picture of the tool and the serial number for each that he owns and keeping them secured every night.
"From here on out, we take all of our tools with us, big or small," he added.
Anyone who might have information on the burglary is asked to call Murray police at 801-264-2673.