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Police give property protection tips after thieves target West Side buildings

A property owner on Charleston's West Side says he's had more than $40,000 worth of tools and equipment stolen from his work sites in the past couple of years. He's now taking steps to make sure the thefts stop.

With a number of new businesses and buildings being renovated, it's easy to see the Elk City area of Charleston is quickly developing.

But, if you ask property owner Tighe Bullock, growth comes with setbacks.

"It's just been all kinds of stuff," Bullock said Monday.

Bullock is the owner of Crawford Holdings and Bullock Properties.

His crews are currently working on renovating eight buildings in Charleston.

Bullock says, over the past year, he's had $40,000 worth of equipment stolen from work sites.

"I've had my car broken into multiple times. We have a dump trailer, we have to leave it here, and they keep breaking into it and stealing the battery from it."

Bullock owns the building Elk City Records is in.

Last week at the grand opening for the business, Bullock had to rush away to file yet another police report, after he says, thieves broke into the section upstairs.

"Every time this happen, I call around to a pawn shop within a 50 mile radius and sometimes I find my stuff."

Sgt. Paul Perdue with Charleston police says Bullock is on the right track, but if you do find your stuff at a pawn shop, be sure to alert police.

Sgt. Perdue said, "We can call, we can get a freeze put on the property. We can take receipt of the property ourselves, then you're not out anything."

And because you must present an ID when you pawn something, it could give police a suspect lead.

Perdue also says, make sure you know the serial number of any tools you own.

He said another major deterrence to thieves, is a well-lit area; crime is a lot less likely to happen, if there are lamps or another source of light.

Perdue said make sure you have good locks in place and multiple ones at that. Use doors that are made of metal, not wood.

Bullock has already taken many of those steps. He says, his goal of helping to further develop Charleston West Side won't be stopped by a few thieves looking to make a quick buck.

"We're going to keep doing what we do. Nothing going to stop me from that," said Bullock.

Police tell Eyewitness News, they did make an arrest in a burglary Bullock experienced more than a year ago, but none recently. They did confirm that he has experienced multiple burglaries.

Meanwhile, Bullock says he will push for the city to install more lights near his buildings.

Police say, despite Bullock's experiences, the West Side has seen major improvements in crime over the past couple of years.

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