Teens take tractor, fork lift for a joyride inside N. Houston business


by Andrew Horansky / KHOU 11 News


Posted on August 15, 2013 at 10:59 AM

Rental store break-in

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HOUSTON -- A construction equipment rental business in north Houston was broken into for the fifth time this year, but this time the suspects weren’t thieves, a manager said.

The break-in was reported at Champion Rentals on N. Shepherd Drive north of W. Tidwell Road in the early morning hours Wednesday.

The first officers on the scene said they saw at least four juveniles running around in the business and playing with tractors and a fork lit.

“It looks like they just came in here joyriding, found equipment that had keys in it – playing – kids,” said the store Manager Mike Sharpton. “The officer said they all appeared to be young juveniles. They were just in here playing and having a ball.”

Police said they quickly secured the perimeter, but the kids managed to get away.

Unlike previous break-ins, the manager said nothing was stolen or damaged.

Construction equipment thefts have become a serious problem. The equipment on the Champion lot alone is worth millions of dollars.

In April even the security cameras could not stop crooks from stealing towable welders worth about $50,000. At other times, tools and batteries have been taken.

“The economy is bad and everybody is trying to make money,” said Bill Frederick, Champion Rentals.

It is still not known how the teen suspects entered the property.