SALT LAKE CITY –– A Salt Lake City business owner has asked for the public’s help after saying his business was burglarized twice in the past two days and forced it to temporarily close until he can restart a delivery truck.
“I just want to spread the word,” said Kelly Turley, owner of Standard Firewood in Salt Lake City.
Turley says they have been supplying firewood and barbecue wood to businesses, homes and gas stations across the state for about 30 years. He took over the business in 2017.
In the summer of 2020, he says, they were forced to find a new location and have had problems ever since.
This week they halted operations after saying someone stole their only delivery truck, trailer and thousands of dollars in technology, merchandise and cash.
“If they only knew the emotional toll and all that it takes on other types of people when they do this stuff,” Turley said. “I personally don’t think a lot of these people are in their right minds and they’re only thinking about themselves.”
After only a few months in the new location, Turley said someone stole his chainsaw and log splitter. The following summer in 2021, someone stole his Bobcat from the fenced yard.
In between, he said someone cut their catalytic converter four times and stole batteries.
Over the past few months, things seemed to finally calm down. Turley installed several cameras on the property and an alarm system.
I was at Standard Firewood at SLC most of the day. They have been broken into twice in the past 2 days. Thousands of dollars in stolen technology, goods and money. A truck and a trailer are missing.@KSL5TV pic.twitter.com/lLJ4mo3r9W
— Matt Rascon (@MattRasconNews) February 15, 2022
On Sunday, the alarm went off, alerting Turley who was in Bluffdale at the time. While his wife called the police, Turley hit the road. He says he arrived well before the Salt Lake City police but after the burglars left in a van.
Surveillance showed that a van stopped as far as the fence surrounding the yard and then returned there. A hooded man drove onto the property and knocked over cameras along the way.
He was able to get into the office where Turley says he unplugged the remaining cameras, then stole hundreds of dollars worth of merchandise, a few thousand dollars in cash inside the till, keys to their equipment and computer, iPad and phone.
The next day, Turley learned from one of his employees that someone had broken in that night and stolen his only delivery truck and a trailer.
“I just wish people were better,” he said.
Tuesday brought good news. Someone spotted the truck just two miles from the business and reported it to the police.
The catalytic converter was cut and there was other damage to the exterior and under the hood. But the delivery truck they depend on for most of their business has been found.
“Any win right now feels good,” he said.
Turley said they had insurance, but it was still a painful process and due to the number of times they had been broken into, it was difficult to maintain insurance.