MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) – More than a dozen high-dollar chainsaws were stolen over the weekend from a Murfreesboro hardware store.
Police are trying to figure out what the crooks are planning to do with them.
What appears to be a white mini-van is seen on video at Kelton’s Hardware & Pet Supply, pulling up and backing into a parking space. What you don’t see on video is the burglars getting out, smashing through a glass door, and going inside–straight for the chainsaw display.
“This is the type that they took,” store owner Jason Keltson said, while pointing at the chainsaw display. “They basically took one of every machine that we have here on our display.”
Seventeen chainsaws, valued at more than $8,300, were stolen.
“It doesn’t stop us; it may slow us down a little bit, but it’s not going to stop us,” Kelton told News 2.
News 2 wanted to know why steal chainsaws with more valuable items inside the store?
“There are many reasons,” Kelton said. “I feel like a chainsaw is something that they can easily sell on either the black market, personal use. STILH is a very well-known brand.”
Employees also believe the chainsaws could be easily unloaded in Florida or Texas, where clean-up from Hurricane Harvey and Irma is still underway.
“That’s definitely a possibility, moving it out of state into those Hurricane ravished area, absolutely,” Kelton said.
A piece of plywood now covers one of the siding doors where the crooks broke in.
Kelton’s Hardware is a family business, serving the Rutherford County community for more than 50 years.
“For me, it’s personal,” the owner said. “Anytime anyone steals something from us, it’s not only stealing from me, it’s stealing from the employees who work here, it’s stealing from my family, and this is a family business.”
Kelton said other hardware stores in Middle Tennessee have also had chainsaws stolen, and this is not the first time Kelton’s Hardware has been targeted by thieves. A few years ago, someone stole several commercial lawn mowers which were on display in front of the store.
Kelton’s owners say a STILH representative has all the serial numbers for the stolen chainsaws and will be monitoring to see if anyone calls in about a warranty or repairs.
Police are also keeping a close eye on local pawn shops just in case the thieves try to pawn them.
Anyone with information is asked to call Murfreesboro Crime Stoppers at 615-893-STOP.