Venerable Texas cowboy boot maker hit by $3M theft

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) The thefts occurred Labor Day weekend and Nov. 9 at a Justin Boots distribution center, said Fort Worth police Lt. Paul Henderson.

A surveillance video shows a white single-cab tractor entering the property without a trailer and each time leaving with one. The driver gained entry by cutting the locked chain securing the gate, Henderson said.

Over Labor Day, three containers mounted on three chassis were taken, holding 10,740 pairs of boots and 7,400 sets of boot uppers worth nearly $2.4 million, Henderson said.

On Nov. 9, two more shipping containers-chassis sets were taken, holding nearly 10,000 pairs of boots worth nearly $800,000, he said. Four of the five shipping container-chassis sets were found abandoned and empty; the fifth is still missing.

Justin Boots was founded in 1879 and has had its headquarters in Fort Worth since 1925. Its Web site boasts endorsements from a number of rodeo and country music stars, including George Strait. The company was bought by Berkshire Hathaway in 2000.

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