Employees fuming after series of break-ins at Hutchins boiler company

Workers at a family-owned business in Hutchins say they are ready to take matters into their own hands after a thief struck the 97-year-old business for the third time in just a few months on Wednesday night.

The break-ins are crippling business at Williams and Davis Boiler Company. Employees say it's insulting when thousands of dollars in equipment is stolen. To them it’s not just a piece of equipment that goes missing, it’s a day’s work.

“They just sweat to death in there, wearing thick shirts,” employee Gary Fraser said. “To take away from this company, you take away from us.”

When the equipment goes missing it can mean lost wages and weeks of delays, meaning more work for the employees. It also means that the family-owned business takes a big financial hit.

“Having something like this happen, it just delays it by weeks, days,” vice president Jennifer Caradine said. “It can take a long time for us to get our equipment running again. We have employees that can't work today and that can make us lose up to $30,000 a day.”

They think the same crook has hit the building three times. Wednesday night, he not only made away with equipment but also cable leads to machines, which contain costly copper wires.

The company has tried to stop the thief. It has upgraded its security system and put up additional fences, but he was still able to get in. That’s not sitting well with the company’s vice president.

“How can the same person keep coming back?” Caradine said. “And how does he not realize what he's doing is wrong?”

Fraser has a different message for the thief.

“Maybe I'll be up here some night with my Smith and Wesson and I will shoot you if you do come in my building again,” he said.

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