Owners searching for solution as Broward plumbing businesses targeted by thieves in 1 week

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – In a span of just one week, two plumbing businesses in Broward County suffered a huge financial setback when their vehicles were broken into and tools were stolen.  

Jason Rich, General Manager of Paradise Plumbing, told Local 10 News that the break-in happened while his employee was out on a service call last Wednesday.

Rich said he walked into a broken passenger side window, shattered glass and thousands of dollars in tools and equipment stolen from one of his plumbing service vans.

“We received a call from our technician letting us know that the window on his truck had been smashed and that he had his camera, sewer equipment and monitor stolen from his vehicle,” he said.

According to Rich, once the thieves got inside, they were able to steal the company’s most valuable tools. specific items Rich and his father believe the thieves were searching for.

“We come down to the vehicle and we find that there had been trespassing into the vehicle. They had broken that window and gotten into the back of that truck,” he said.

Rich said the business had about $15,000 in total losses and damages.

Business owners told Local 10 News that thieves are targeting vans and searching for high-priced items such as a locating device, drain cleaners and cameras worth as much as $10,000.

“They are your everyday need to clear a drainage stoppage and to inspect the quality of the sewer system,” Rich said. “It is very typical that each vehicle would have one on them.”

The recent break-in comes within a week after thieves broke into 10 service vans of John the Plumber, a family-owned plumbing business in Pompano Beach.

Local 10 News obtained surveillance video of the thieves using a blow torch to tear through locks securing multiple service vans and cutting through it.

Another thief was seen stepping in to pry the doors open before they both made their way inside taking off with several pieces of pricey equipment.

Mike Krobatsch, Owner of John the Plumber, told Local 10 News that nearly $30,000 in tools and equipment were stolen.

“We got to get these guys (because) this has got to stop.,” said Rich. “This is an ongoing thing (and) these thieves are looking for plumbing vehicles.”

Rich says while this is obviously a financial loss, it is even more debilitating to the businesses because without the necessary tools, employees are unable to do the work and recoup from their losses.

Detectives are asking anyone that has information on the thieves to contact Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-8477.

About the Author:

Roy Ramos joined the Local 10 News team in 2018. Roy is a South Florida native who grew up in Florida City. He attended Christopher Columbus High School, Homestead Senior High School and graduated from St. Thomas University.