Company Regroups after Thieves Strike

By: Carrie Cline Email
By: Carrie Cline Email

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Anger and frustration are the typical emotions a robbery victim usually goes through.

But one local businessman is experiencing something more powerful than both. A local design and contracting firm was hit hard by thieves during the weekend, losing more than $10,000 worth of valuable supplies and equipment.

While the folks are certainly not happy, what they feel for the thieves might surprise you.

“They broke into one of our supply trucks and took all of the tools out, in addition to extension cords and copper piping we had hanging in one of our sheds,” Scott Riedel said.

The list of items stolen from Riedel-Wilks Building Structures in Guyandotte is long. The general contracting company had no shortage of tools and copper piping.

“They stole the copper leads off our welder," Riedel said. "Our tool shed is going to be monitored from now on. We’ve got our alarm company coming in."

If you detect a little frustration, you'd be on target. This isn't the first time this company has been hit, and Riedel is fed up. For a small business working hard in a tough economy, this is not the kind of commerce they had in mind.

“Everyone has a deductible with their insurance, and this is going to come right out of our pocket,” Riedel said.

There was an effort to shield part of the property with security fencing, but Riedel said he thought the area that backs up to Guyandotte Elementary School would be fine with just a chain link. Yet, it is exactly where the thieves cut the fence and gained entry -- a lesson learned the hard way.

“Out of sight, out of mind. If you make it hard for them, it helps,” Riedel said.

But, for all the emotions swirling within him, the overriding feeling is one that surprises even him.

“I just think it's sadness, because it's sad that you have people that think the only way to get by in this life is to steal or do something," Riedel said. "If they would put this into a job or trade, they wouldn't have to steal."

Police are checking in with local pawn shops in an effort to track the stolen property.

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