HomeFeatured$30,000 Worth of Tools Stolen From Plumber Caught on Camera

$30,000 Worth of Tools Stolen From Plumber Caught on Camera

Victim plumber says it took years to collect the $30,000 in tools that were stolen.

Southern California plumber who lost $30,000 worth of tools frustrated with crime laws.

$30,000 Worth of Tools Stolen From Plumber Caught on Camera. Credit Robert Powell

A Southern California plumber whose work van and $30,000 worth of tools were stolen is frustrated after the suspect, who was arrested, was immediately released. The victim, Robert Powell is still out of work and doesn’t know how long it’ll take to replace all of his stolen tools and equipment.

The theft happened on March 28 as home surveillance cameras captured the brazen theft outside his Gardena home. “At 4:30 a.m. this morning, they came and took it,” Powell said, on the verge of tears. “It’s hard to replace $30,000 worth of equipment that has taken you 10 years to accumulate.”

On April 5, Powell confirmed a suspect was arrested for the theft, however, most of his tools remain missing yet the suspect was released from custody. “I’m angry,” he said. “It’s not a victimless crime. This is going to cost me.”

A Southern California plumber, Robert Powell, faced frustration and devastation after his work van, along with approximately $30,000 worth of tools, was stolen. Despite the arrest of a suspect, Powell’s anguish persisted as most of his tools remained missing and the perpetrator was promptly released from custody.

The theft occurred on March 28 outside Powell’s residence in Gardena, as captured by home surveillance cameras. Powell, on the brink of tears, recounted the loss of his tools, accumulated over a decade of hard work. Video footage depicted two suspects in an SUV breaking into Powell’s work van and driving it away.

Although the van was discovered abandoned in South Gate later that morning, Powell’s valuable tools were nowhere to be found. Only three tools were recovered, leaving Powell grappling with the significant financial blow to his business.

Despite the arrest of a suspect on April 5, Powell’s frustration mounted as the majority of his tools remained unrecovered and the suspect was swiftly released. Powell expressed anger and disbelief at the perceived leniency of the criminal justice system, particularly in cases of substantial thefts like his own.

Powell and his daughter took matters into their own hands, scouring online resale platforms for the stolen tools. They identified their belongings, marked with Powell’s initials, on the app OfferUp. With the assistance of the Gardena Police Department, a plan was devised to track down the seller and recover the stolen goods.

Upon searching the suspect’s residence, police found every room brimming with tools, though only a fraction belonged to Powell. Despite the partial success of the operation, Powell lamented the limited recovery of his stolen property and questioned why more decisive action hadn’t been taken.

The immediate release of the suspect following his arrest compounded Powell’s distress, leading him to advocate for changes in California’s laws regarding theft and bail policies. Powell emphasized the tangible impact of such crimes on victims like himself and stressed the need for accountability and stricter measures to prevent reoffending.

The implementation of Los Angeles County’s zero bail policy further underscored Powell’s concerns, allowing suspects accused of nonviolent or non-serious crimes to be cited and released without bond. Powell expressed fear that the perpetrator would resume criminal activities unchecked, highlighting the urgency for reform.

A GoFundMe page was set up to aid Powell in rebuilding his plumbing business amid the financial setback. KTLA reached out to the Gardena Police Department for additional comment on the case, but no response was received.

Source: KTLA 5

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