Business owner baffled; 500 pound engine stolen

By Andrew Wittenberg  - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - There was a chilling phone call at one o'clock Wednesday morning for a Columbus business owner.

The alarm at Benning Auto Parts had been activated, the glass front door shattered.

For the third time in a month, Roy Parks is picking up the pieces after his business on 17th Street was burglarized.

"It seems to be an ongoing problem that really seems to be getting worse," Parks said.

The bandits got away with an item not usually targeted by thieves, a 383 Stroker Chevrolet Racing Engine.

"What they did, is they knocked out the window of the front door here to my right, stepped inside the door and this engine was sitting there on a roll around crate and they proceeded to pick it up, roll it right out through the front door where they'd kicked the glass out," Parks said.

What happened next boggles the mind.

The suspects picked up the 500 pound engine, took it to the getaway car and sped off.

"You can actually see the red marks on the door where they drug it over the door frame," Parks said.

As a result of increased burglaries in the area, Columbus Police have also increased patrols nearby.

In fact, there was an officer just down the street from Benning Auto Parts when it was burglarized.

Unfortunately, a train was stopped on the tracks, blocking 17th Street.

That allowed enough time for the burglars to get away, as they sped off toward 18th Street.

But the suspects may not be able to put the pedal to the medal.

The engine can only be used for drag racing and Parks is confident when someone notices the custom built engine, they'll track down the culprits.

"I don't think it was a random act, I think we were specifically targeted because of the product it was," Parks said.

He says while it is discouraging, it's just a speed bump.

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