Delray Beach police say thieves are targeting batteries in box t - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Delray Beach police say thieves are targeting batteries in box trucks

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. - Police in Delray Beach say they're seeing a spike in thieves taking batteries from box trucks.

The most mysterious part of the crimes is what burglars are doing with the batteries after they take them.

Ron Bell says an employee tried starting one of the trucks at his roofing company early this month, but it wouldn't crank.

"When he opened it up, there was no battery," Bell explains.

He says someone stole the battery.

Delray Beach police say Bell's case is one of at least 17 reported so far this year, many happening in the last two weeks. It's a lot more than detectives saw in 2014.

The batteries on most box trucks aren't under the hood, like in a car, they're on the side; making them accessible without having to get inside the cab.

"The mystery for detectives is we know these batteries are not worth a whole lot. If you take them to a scrap yard, they give you just a few cents per pound," explains Dani Moschella from the Delray Beach police department.

Detectives are trying to figure out what thieves do with the batteries after taking them. They wonder if there might be a black market for the items.

"It's possible that somebody is taking them overseas to countries which have issues with electricity and they're using them as some sort of generator power," says Moschella.

Bell keeps his trucks behind a locked gate, but says that didn't stop the thieves.

"How they got in and out without being seen, I don't know," says Bell.

Now he'll add locks to the battery compartments of the trucks and upgrade his surveillance system.

Police say it's important for box truck owners to secure their batteries. If you have any information about these cases, call police at 561-243-7810

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