SPARKS, Nev. (Mynews4.com & KRNV)- "It was like Christmas." That is how Jami Heskanen, Co-owner of A1 Body Shop describes recovering parts and tools that had been stolen right out of their store.
Reno and Sparks Police contacted Heskanen on Monday. Sgt. Patrick Dreelan says they discovered stolen items, including many from A1 Body Shop, in a storage shed belonging to Jason Stidham. Stidham was arrested this past Sunday for an attempted burglary. Police say he is responsible for multiple burglaries. "We've linked him to four in Reno and one in Sparks," said Dreelan.
Heskanen says they came in one morning and found their shop had been torn apart and thousands of dollars worth of RV parts and tools were gone. Employees say those tools are their livelihood. "Some worked 25 years to get what they have. To lose that in one night, it was devastating," said Parts Manager Bill Macklin.
The burglary put business at a standstill. "We have 18 different families affected," said Macklin.
Recovering some of those tools is allowing them to get back to work. "It never occurred to me something like this could happen with all the steps we had taken," said Heskanen. A burglar cut holes in their roof and disabled the security system. There is no footage showing anyone in the building.
But employees did say they recognized the mug shot of Jason Stidham. "After I saw the guy capture it occurred to me and the other girl working, that this guy visited our store twice," said Macklin. Police believe Stidham was casing the building.
Now that Stidham is in custody, the people affected by these crimes say they want justice. "I think he should be punished to the extent of the law. He caused a lot of damage and hurt," said Heskanen.
Stidham is being held in Washoe County Jail on more than $100,000 bail.