Owner Sleeps At Tulsa Business In Hopes Of Catching Thieves
TULSA, Oklahoma - A Tulsa man is at his wit's end after thieves keep stealing copper and spare parts from his heating and air conditioning business.
He installed cameras, put in an intruder-tripped laser beam, added razor wire and then did something really desperate.
Robert Gruse owns A-Team Service and he's so fed up with thieves he took his pillow and blanket to his business and slept there over the weekend in hopes of catching them red-handed.
He said thieves cut the fence behind his business then stole a-coils, condensers and fan blades, tossing them over the fence to someone waiting by the highway below.
"They chunk it right here and have a vehicle pull up and off they go,” Gruse said.
They've taken about $1,200 worth of stuff.
Video from Saturday morning shows the first man rooting around, finding what he wants, then chunking it over the fence.
He eventually notices the camera and uses a stick to try to point it away from where he's doing his dirty work.
Not long after he leaves, a second thief shows up and does the very same thing. He rummages around, looking for items he can steal and sell for scrap, but when he notices the camera he actually knocks it right off the building.
"If I have to move in down here, I'll do it,” said Gruse.
He stayed at his business Saturday night, hoping to catch them red-handed because police told him that's the only way they can make an arrest.
Based on the surveillance video, Gruse thinks he knows who the men are, so when he saw them in the neighborhood he walked right up to them and took their pictures.
"He said, ‘What'd you do that for?' I said, ‘You're the one stealing my copper.' He said, ‘How do you know that?' ‘Because I've got you on videotape,'" he said.
Gruse said the men got nervous and took off. He even picked up the men's cigarette butts so he'll have their DNA.
Gruse coaches wrestling at Edison High School and the money he would've made from those items sends kids on wrestling trips. He got very choked up talking about that.
He's beyond frustrated and hopes someone recognizes the men from the video. If you do, you can call Crime Stoppers at 918-596-COPS.