Car thief makes off with $250,000 in plumbing equipment - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Car thief makes off with $250,000 in plumbing equipment

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ESCONDIDO, Calif. (CBS 8) - A North County plumber is hoping the News 8 CrimeFighters can help him get his business back. He's struggling to make a living after a thief made off with $250,000 worth of equipment.

On a quiet street in Escondido called Rosemary Court, a thief was prowling through the neighborhood this past Christmas Eve. He broke into the home of plumber Richard Moten, stole the keys to his utility truck and drove away with $250,000 worth of drain cleaning equipment.

"It's one thing when you go in someone's house and steal their property, but when you steal the way they make their living, especially in this tight economy, I don't have the money," Moten said.

Richard's white utility truck is pretty hard to miss. It had a trailer attached with a sewer cleaning hose rolled up in the back. The truck is too large to park in a garage, so Richard thinks the thief may have parked it on the street someplace.

"I want my stuff back so I can build my business. I don't want to lose my home," he said.

The News 8 CrimeFighters ran the numbers for burglaries and vehicle thefts in Escondido over the past 90 days within a one-mile radius of the intersection of Rock Springs Road and Bennett Avenue.

Our Crimetracker map shows 20 burglaries and 27 cars either stolen or broken into, all within the past three months.

For now, Richard is working out of a borrowed utility truck loaned to him by a friend. As for the thief who drove off with his equipment, Richard has this bit of advice:

"If you want a camera, if you want a Jetta, earn it the way I did. Have hopes and dreams for it, go purchase it. Don't steal it from somebody else," he said.

If you've seen that white utility truck or the trailer, contact the Escondido Police Department.

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