In 15 years working for Martin County, Jim Gorton had never seen anything like it. "This is my first time. It's disappointing,” said Gorton Monday.
He and dozens of co-workers had filed into work Monday before sunrise. At first, no one noticed anything was wrong.
The sun came up and that's when the discovery was made.
“We found that 6 of our trucks had the tires stolen from them," said Gorton, who works in the engineering department.
The tires were not missing from the many pickups on the property.
“Heavy trucks and the tire size is consistent with what would be used in tractor trailers," said Gorton.
Six of the 22 heavy vehicles in the fleet were targeted, and since all of those vehicles go out on a daily basis, work crews had to be reassigned.
The crooks cut a hole in the chain link fence. They deflated the tires before removing them.
“They cut the fence and carried the tires through the fence and it looked like they were staging them there and loading them into a separate vehicle at that point," said Gorton.
And it wasn’t just tires taken from the yard. The lock was cut on a trailer and a pole saw and a blower were taken. The total cost of the theft is about $25,000. The hope is to have new tires in place tomorrow.
Of the 18 tires that went missing, three were recovered. They were found in bushes near the front gate. The Martin County Sheriff's Office is looking at surveillance video to see if detectives can identify the thieves.