HOUSTON - Deputies are investigating after a Houston business owner was robbed of his company truck that had tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment inside.
The company, Raus Restoration, is in high demand right now as they help flood victims clean up water damage.
“We have been very busy,” explained Johnny Raus. “Been working 16 hour days for going on 10 days now.”
Workers have been slammed as they tear out and dry out homes before mold sets in.
When the humidity is 60 percent or higher, mold starts to grow within 48 hours and can cause an even bigger headache down the line.
“It has the ability to make people have respiratory problems, it can have all kinds of health effects on people. Being a local contractor here we don't expect anything upfront. We deal with FEMA direct and when the homeowner gets paid they pay us.” said Raus.
However, currently Raus is dealing with his own headache after a thief hot-wired one of his company trucks and then stole it.
Surveillance video shows the robbery happened at 2 a.m. on April 15, 2016. The truck was parked behind locked gates at the west Houston business located off Brittmore road.
“We had over $50,000 worth of drying equipment in there including a truck mount extraction unit.” Raus said.
He didn’t have time to wait for insurance so he replaced the equipment out-of-pocket to keep up with the need.
“Out-of-pocket over these two weeks, we are well in excess of $75,000 to $80,000 in labor costs and the equipment we had to replace.” he said.
Sheriff’s deputies found the truck back on April 24th, or at least what was left of it.
“I asked him what condition it was in and if the equipment was in it and they said it was a total loss…burned to the ground.” Raus said.
He has hired 16 more people to keep up with the flood demand and as his long work days continue, he hopes the thief who steals for a living gets caught.
Anyone with information about this incident should contact Crime Stoppers.