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 Thousands in Equipment Stolen from Local Business

February 6, 2008 - Thieves cleaned out a local business just east of Knightstown earlier this week, stealing what is believed to be tens of thousands of dollars of merchandise.

Mark Fort, co-owner of Hoosier Outdoor Power and Farm Supply, said his business partner, Neal Hall, discovered their business at 6750 W. U.S. Hwy. 40 had been burglarized at about 8 a.m. Monday, when he arrived at work. Investigators believe the break-in had occurred during the preceding 24 hours.

After gaining entry to the building by force, thieves loaded much of the store's inventory onto a truck or trailer pulled up to the east side of the building. While Fort and Hall are still trying to identify everything that was taken, Fort said a partial list includes four mowers; an all-terrain vehicle; all their insulated winter clothing; almost all their blue jeans; a generator; a power washer; their computer and monitor; cash; paint; and all their tools, weed eaters and chainsaws. He estimated that the total loss to the business could be between $50,000 and $70,000.

"They didn't leave much," Fort said. "They have really destroyed us. We can't even function right now."

Fort said the theft of the company's computer has complicated the task of determining everything that was stolen. He said he and Hall are having to go through individual customer files to check serial numbers on purchased items so that they're not mistakenly reported as stolen merchandise.

Late Tuesday afternoon, Fort told The Banner that two Indianapolis news programs, WISH Channel 8 and WRTV Channel 6, planned to do stories on the break-in. Channel 8 was supposed to be at the business early Tuesday evening, while Channel 6 is expected to be there at noon today.

"Hopefully, that'll put some heat on the people who did this," Fort said.

Anyone with information about this crime is asked to contact Henry County Sheriff's Department Detective Stacey Guffey at (765) 529-5669, or call the HCSD dispatch at (765) 529-4901.

 

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