84-year-old St. Louis man loses van, thousands of dollars of tools in theft

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by KMOV.com staff

KMOV.com

Posted on February 26, 2013 at 10:35 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 27 at 2:12 PM

ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- An 84-year-old St. Louis man found himself taken for everything Monday night. Herman Bertuso’s job as a handy man came to a sudden hault, because of thieves who targeted his van.

Bertuso says when they took his van, they stole more than a vehicle; they took everything he owned that made him a handy man. Inside the van were tools bought and hand made over the years, and either too rare or too expensive to replace.

“You name it they were in there, there was all types of tools for all types of jobs you want to do,” he said. “I’d say worth over $20,000 worth of tools.”

Bertuso says the van was taken from a parking spot sometime between Sunday night and Monday morning in front of his house.

“Well it’s sad and it’s got me hurt so bad i don’t know which way to turn,” he said.

St. Louis police, keeping with policy, only took a report over the phone. Nothing was left at the crime scene but a tool used to execute the break in. Bertuso’s only has hope  is that someone can find his white van and he can get back to work. The vehicle is 2000 Ford Econoline 250 Extended van with a Missouri license plate OWA737.

“Everything i worked hard for in my life is gone,” Bertuso said. “In one shot.”

Update:

Bertuso’s grandson, Jon Hendrickson, says since News 4 aired the above story, there has been a swell of support from those wanting to make a donation.

Hendrickson’s brother-in-law, Justin Barr, created a donation page, and was already over $1,440 by 2 p.m. Wednesday.

“Every incredibly generous donation is incredibly appreciated, as is the attention that KMOV and Mr. Sczesny brought to my grandfather’s situation,” Hendrickson said.

Those wanting to make a donation can do so by clicking here.

 

 

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