A recent string of burglaries at tool shops around the metro have employees on edge. The latest smash and grab happened early Thursday morning at the Fastenal on S. Sooner Rd., and this time it was caught on camera.
Around 4 a.m., surveillance cameras captured a man smashing his way into the Fastenal store, and he knew exactly what he was looking for. The man spent less than 20 seconds inside, as the video shows him walk straight to the back aisle, where he grabs three toolkits and runs out.
District manager Justin Ronck says this is the ninth time since Christmas that his Fastenal branches across Oklahoma City and Norman have been targeted, and this latest theft brings the stores’ total losses to more than $15,000 worth of equipment.
The company responded by recently installing cameras at all the local locations. Ronck says the break-ins seem to be the same almost every time.
“They were looking at a male and female suspect that were doing this together,” Ronck said about the police investigation. “(Thursday) night it looked like there was only one male suspect. We didn’t see anybody else.”
The video shows the thief pulling up and leaving in a white Ford F-250, seemingly alone. Ronck hopes someone can identify the man, but in the meantime, he is also installing security film on all the local store windows in hopes of slowing the burglars down next time.
“We’ve got that installed at all our businesses in Tulsa, where we’ve had some burglary issues as well, and it stopped them,” Ronck said.
Ronck fears, however, that the crime will not stop until detectives can cast a wider net to shut down the black market where he suspects these tools are being sold.
“I think it’s part of organized crime,” he speculated. “They have somebody ready to buy this stuff before they even steal it.”
Police are continuing to investigate these and similar burglaries around the metro area. Call Crime Stoppers at (405) 235-7300 if you have any information.