“I have no job:” Mobile business with $20K worth of tools allegedly stolen days before Xmas

LAS VEGAS (CLASS)– The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department reported nearly 10,000 vehicle thefts in its jurisdiction this year. But, what happens if that vehicle is actually a business?

That’s the reality an East Valley business owner is facing just days before the Christmas holiday.

Berry Cotner recently started JB Service six months ago, a mobile auto mechanic shop that services various commercial businesses throughout the valley. Without his truck, he said, “I don’t have a job.”

When he opened his front door Thursday morning, his truck and the estimated $20,000 worth of tools and equipment inside were missing.

“I called my wife and I said, ‘Please tell me you’re playing a joke on me,'” Cotner said outside his home Friday morning, recounting the chaotic morning he realized his mobile business was missing.

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The truck was parked in the same position in front of his home every day, he said, with a door camera pointed in his direction. But, when he reviewed the footage of the suspicious night of the thief, the thief himself was not arrested.

Instead, it’s seen parked at 4:20, then gone at 4:30.

“There are no pieces of plastic or anything that would have broken into the door,” Cotner said while surveying the empty parking lot. “So whoever did it, they knew what they were doing.”

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The mobile business also has sentimental value. The truck was handed down by his father, who did the same job for 25 years, he said. Cotner fitted it out with shelves and places for his equipment when he took ownership.

Now the sole small business owner fears if it will ever be found, and if not, how he will support his family financially.

“I’m a one-man show,” Cotner said. “I have no backup. I just take care of my family, and without my truck I can’t make money. I can’t pay my bills.”

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“That’s why I was really hoping I’d hear back yesterday or today, because I think the further into the holidays the less I think [there’s] Chances are someone will be watching.”

When asked what he would say to the offender or those responsible, he said, “Just dump it somewhere, bring it back. Whatever you’ve already stolen, I forgive. I just need my truck to pay my bills.”

Those who see the truck can call Las Vegas Metropolitan Police, or can remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at (702) 385-5555.


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