Rutland service station struggles after burglaryBy Brent Curtis
staff writer | September 04,2013
Albert J. Marro / Staff Photo Kevin Blow inside his South Main Street garage in Rutland Tuesday afternoon. The garage was burglarized last week. 09.03/13/The theft of more than $12,000 worth of tools and equipment will spell a sooner-than-expected end to Blow’s Service Station on South Main Street in Rutland.
The co-owner of the 56-year-old business, Kevin Blow, said Tuesday he had already planned to close the shop at the end of this month to pursue a metal fabrication and machine shop enterprise at his home in Pittsford.
But after a break-in at the garage during the early hours of Aug. 28, Blow said the shop, which has been a part of his family for three generations, will close much sooner.
“We’re going to finish cleaning up this week and doing some jobs that we have left, and then we’re going to close for good,” he said.
In a way, it’s a wonder that the shop is able to function at all after thieves cleared out most of the tools, Blow said.
“I had to call and order a Phillips-head screwdriver the day after,” he said. “They took everything they could.”
But thanks to what Blow described as the support of the community and a number of the station’s customers, he and another mechanic have been able to continue fixing cars using donated tools.
“I can’t look at them without getting teary-eyed,” Blow said of the people who have offered their aid.
Rutland Police Sgt. Matthew Prouty said police are investigating the break-in, but have recovered none of the stolen property and have made no arrests yet.
Blow said the thieves got in by pushing through a little-known cardboard divider that allowed full access to the tiny shop.
He’s taking no chances now — the tools he uses each day go home with him at night.
He doesn’t have much hope of recovering the tools he’s lost, but he’s sparing no effort in trying to track down the thieves.
In newspaper ads, Blow and his mother and service station co-owner Karen Blow list some of the items more likely to be sold — items that include a blue Systematics 250 wire-feed welder and a 180 Diversion welder.
While the 180 welder is relatively small, the 250 required the efforts of four men to unload from a truck when it was brought to the garage, Blow said.
The thieves also stole $500 worth of Vermont inspection stickers.
Police Detective Sgt. James Tarbell said he would be surprised if highly identifiable and rare items like the welders were pawned off by the people that took them.
“My guess is they’re not fencing them,” he said. “Probably they’re items they need for themselves or they had a specific request from someone so they already had a buyer beforehand.”
Anyone with information about the break-in is asked to call city police at 773-1816.
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