FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A new trend in criminal activity has been cooks using U-Haul trucks to pull off brazen heists.
More and more victims have been coming forward.
One of those victims is contractor Justin Hamilton with Just Inspire LLC.
He said thieves in a U-Haul truck clipped a hurricane impact window and pulled it right off the bracket, then crawled into the home that Hamilton has been flipping off Southwest 23rd Court in the City of Fort Lauderdale.
“The U-Haul truck pulling up at night, turning off all the lights and they came in through the back,” he said.
The criminals then loaded up brand new, high-end kitchen appliances and left.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, two weeks later, when the stolen items were replaced, Hamilton noticed a man acting suspiciously outside the home, and the same box truck parked nearby with a driver inside.
“So then I drove back around and the truck was driving like 70 mph down Riverland Road,” he said. “I told him that I know what you did a few weeks ago. There are cameras there now, I have you on camera. I have your license plate.
“He was shaking, sweating, he knew he had been caught.”
Local 10 News reported last week on how Fort Lauderdale police detectives were tracking the new crime trend.
It’s happening across the county, from mail thefts in Pembroke Pines to thefts in West Park, all involving U-Haul trucks.
Big box businesses have also fallen victim to the crimes.
Detectives have picked up on a pattern where crooks park rental trucks near emergency exits of stores, quickly swiping big items from places like Home Depot, Target and Best Buy.
Hamilton meanwhile says contractors are seeing appliances stolen more and more from homes under renovation.
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