Thieves steal $30K in heavy equipment

Posted at 6:52 PM, Mar 25, 2016

Deputies in Polk County are searching for some hard working thieves who were caught on camera stealing heavy machinery from a Lakeland boiler repair shop.

Three men broke into East Polk LLC in Lakeland early Sunday morning and focused most of their attention on the expensive welding equipment.

"When I got here, this bay door was lifted completely up," said Allen Locklear, who has owned East Polk for 11 years.

He struggles to describe what it's like to watch a few thieves steal what you've worked so hard to build.

"I knew right away that some of the large equipment was gone," he said.

The surveillance video shows the three men hustling around the shop looking for items to steal. At one point, all three work together to lift one piece of welding equipment.

Locklear said they also rummaged through a trailer to steal copper wire, and tools.

He estimates that loss around 30-grand that literally went out the front door. The men packed all the stolen items into a company truck and fled the area.

Deputies found the truck on fire in the Kissimmee area later on Sunday.

"Yeah it hurts," he said. "We're just going to have to fork out of pocket for the 17-grand to recover the equipment."

Locklear suspects whoever they are, had it all planned out.

"When they were ready to drive out of here, they went right for that key box and grabbed the first key," he said, suggesting that the men had been there before.

The three men are still on the run as of Friday afternoon.