Man posing as neighboring tenant steals thousands worth of tools from metro contractor

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. --  A contractor says a stranger walked onto his job site and stole thousands of dollars’ worth of tools. What’s more, Overland Park’s Butch English has video to prove it.

English, who owns Decadence, a general contracting firm, was just upstairs, only a few feet away from the tools of his trade. English says he never imagined what his video cameras captured on Thursday, as a man walked onto the jobsite he's managing and stole over two thousand dollars' worth of professional grade construction tools.

English's cell phone doubles as part of his security system, using cameras he's rigged around this building near Wyandotte and Main that sends motion-triggered alerts to his wristwatch. FOX 4 News blurred out the man's face in the video clip you’ll see attached to this story, which shows him entering the building's backdoor before taking English's tools out the front.

“The guy walked up, and said he needed some help. He left and came back and robbed me when I left,” English said.

The man approached English, posing as a tenant at a nearby building in need of residential care. He waited for English and his assistant, Dakota Jacobson, to run an errand before forcing his way into the apartment house.

The stuff he's accused of stealing isn't cheap, according to English, who has worked as a full-time contractor since 2000, including a large DeWalt air compressor and sawzalls. English has the receipts from having to replace some of it on Friday morning, which cost him over $1,100. English says that was just enough equipment to get him back to work.

“I need to keep working. Can't stop production. You have to keep working,” English said.

English installed those cameras because he's been ripped off before. Another robbery happened on the worksite in late November, in which, English’s entire tool trailer was ransacked. English says that robbery cost him closer to $10,000.

“These tools are expensive. They're not free. They're what you need to get the job done. It's not like Butch over here is made out of money, and you can come take his stuff anytime you want,” Jacobson said.

English says now, he's having to take extra precautions on his jobsite, protecting his tools in case criminals come back for more.  Deckadence, English's company, has reported both robberies to the police. If you know who the man in the video is, please call Kansas City Crimestoppers, at 816-474-TIPS.

(Reporter's note: FOX 4 News first learned of this story via the Facebook group Stolen KC. Our thanks to their editors for the news tip.)

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