When Dawn Bowers, co-owner of Kawasaki of Caldwell, arrived to open up shop after 6 a.m. Friday, she quickly noticed something was wrong.
A 2000 Ford F-250 that had been on the property was gone, as was a 2018 Diamond C equipment trailer, a 2019 Ranch Edition Pro-FXT Mule utility vehicle and a Gravely ZTHD 52” Zero-Turn lawn mower.
Bowers contacted police and reviewed security footage from several cameras on site.
The cameras depicted activity starting at around 3:15 a.m. A person that Bowers describes as a young man, white or light-skinned and wearing glasses is seen in different video clips moving about the dealership lot. Bowers said she thinks the man climbed over the fence that surrounds the property and eventually hot-wired the pickup.
Once the truck was hot-wired, it appears the man loaded the nearby mower and Mule vehicle onto an adjacently parked equipment trailer before hitching the trailer to the truck. Bowers explained that the trailers for sale on the property are locked in with safety measures to prevent them from being driven away, but the man stole a trailer used by the dealership staff for making deliveries.
While the suspect had entered the area easily enough, getting back outside was a harder task. The suspect spent approximately 20 minutes, Bowers said, cutting a lock on the dealership’s gate. Eventually this individual hitched the stolen trailer to the stolen truck and drove away shortly after 3:45 a.m.
“We are also trying to figure out how this person [first] got out there,” she said. “Somebody must have dropped [him] off at the dealership.”
Because the theft occurred so early in the morning, few others were out on the streets. However, a first responder heading in for an early shift said he saw the truck traveling east on F.M. 60 between Snook and F.M. 50 at around 4:15. The vehicle caught the man’s eye because the trailer did not have a proper license plate, Bowers said.
This is the third time the business has been hit in two years, Bowers said. During one instance, thieves forced entry into the main building on site and stole cash and chain saws.
Kawasaki of Caldwell is located toward where Texas 21 and Texas 36 intersect. The dealership, owned jointly by the Bowers family and the Cross family, sells primarily Kawasaki utility vehicles and all-terrain vehicles, as well as mowers, trailers and some power tools.
“It seems like there are a lot more transient people who come through our community on [Texas 36] and [Texas 21],” Bowers said. “It’s disheartening and sad that this type of thing goes on, but it’s not surprising. ... We try to learn every time something like this happens. I didn’t know someone could cut the type of lock we have on the gate. We may need to look into getting a different lock.”
A $1,000 reward is being offered to anyone who provides information leading to the arrest and conviction of the offender. Those with a tip can contact the Burleson County Sheriff’s Office at 979-567-4343, or Caldwell PD at 979-567-4455. Security footage can be viewed at http://bit.ly/kawasakitheft.