COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Funeral home limos and hearses seem to be the new target for some thieves. Over the past two weeks, thieves have stolen hubcaps, and other car parts from at least three different funeral homes in the Metro Atlanta area.
Warren Cauthen with Striffler Hamby Funeral Home in Columbus, Ga. told News Leader Nine that their staff makes sure to protect the business, and the vehicles, to avoid such problems.
"Our vehicles we have are at large expense," Cauthen said. "To keep them secure as long as we possibly can is an advantage to us."
Cauthen said the funeral home holds about 700 funeral services a year, so taking good care of limousines and hearses help their business tremendously.
"We haven't had any problems yet," Cauthen said. "We keep and lock our cars in the garage when it is not in use. We have an alarm system, and security cameras around the garage, and the entire premise to make sure no vandals and thieves destroy or harm our property."
Kevin Drawdy with Epperly Tire in Columbus, Ga. said hubcaps can cost business owners thousands of dollars to replace.
"Replacing hubcaps that originally came with the vehicle can cost you anywhere from $2,000 to $4,000," Drawdy said. "Often times, customers have experts install these hubcaps on their tires. So not only will you have to pay for the tires, you will also need to pay someone else to put them on for you, too. We are talking about thousands of dollars here."
Striffler Hamby Funeral Home started its business in 1930. David Striffler made a funeral home in Columbus and named it Striffler Mortuary. Striffler then changed the name to Striffler-Hamby in 1954. The business installed the big garage back in 1982 to shelter and protect the vehicles.
Thieves have stolen car parts from funeral homes in the Chattahoochee Valley in the past. Thus, Cauthen explained installing security system is the best thing funeral homes and businesses can do to keep their vehicles safe.