$350,000 worth of stolen tools displayed by police in Philadelphia (PHOTOS)

March 20, 2013 2:48:41 PM PDT
Authorities tell Action News there has been one arrest so far in a large theft operation targeting tools and contractor vans in Philadelphia and Bucks County.

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Police were on hand at the Major Crimes Auto Squad in Hunting Park starting at noon Wednesday so that contractors could reclaim their stolen tools.

As of 5:30 p.m., about three dozen people had shown up.

They are possible victims of one of the largest theft rings in Philadelphia and Bucks County, and they scoured over thousands of dollars worth of tools, looking to reclaim their stolen items.

"I'm one of those guys that my tools are my memories," said Henry Szymczak. "Like people collect pictures, you know."

On Monday Action News reported how police here and in Bensalem have been investigating the thefts of more than 50 contractor work vans in the area over the past year.

The same thieves got away with at least $350,000 in power tools and more.

Last month, investigators discovered much of the stolen loot at homes in the Feltonville section of the city and in Croydon, Bucks County.

"It's kind of odd," said Szymczak. "because I was dealing with the loss and the insurance neglect and everything else. And to even get something back, it's feels good."

In the first 3 hours of this public showing, 25 people showed up. Five recovered stolen tools.

It also appears the operation was bigger than police originally thought and the investigation has now expanded to Montgomery County.

The thieves mostly targeted work vans. But now victims from home burglaries are also coming forward to reclaim items.

For many, they're only getting back a small percentage of what was stolen.

"The total was probably about $6,000 or $7,000, but we only got a couple of hundred dollars back," said Mike Domanico. "Better than nothing."

The public showing will last until 8:00 p.m. Wednesday at 4298 Macalester Street in Hunting Park.

There are two more showings, scheduled for Thursday and Friday from noon to 8:00 p.m. in the same location.

Police have not released information about that one arrest, but they say more arrests are expected.

On Monday, police released the following list of names and initials found on various unclaimed tools:

JMG
Dave Robarge
MQ
Renaud
R.R.
Chadwick
EEJ Mechanical
Cooke
J.G.
JMH
M.E.
Erik
MM
Powell
Rell
Alvis
McF
RW
AMRE #3
Dimension #3
Paul Roth
Valera
N.W.

If you're on this list, police say your stolen property is waiting.

Complainants must provide identification and copy of theft report.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Major Crimes Auto Squad at 215-685-9130 or 215-685- 9133.


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