(WSVN) - A burglary victim made a crime connection and turned to social media for help, and now, two strangers are connected by a stealing spree in both parts of South Florida.
Mark Schultz and Isael Prieto are both sharing their pain and hope the crooks will be caught soon.
“I’m still in shock, utter disbelief that I don’t have my company truck back,” said Shultz.
Shultz hustles to run his own party supply company in Deerfield Beach. Now, he has to hustle more after two thieves stole his truck.
“It’s very serious. It’s the only truck my company has, and this weekend, we struggled to get the jobs done because we don’t have our work truck,” he said.
He went on Facebook to post the theft when Isael Prieto from Northwest Miami-Dade messaged him, saying they were both victimized by the same criminals.
“At first when he contacted me, my first comment to him was, ‘Seriously?'” Shultz said.
Prieto’s home was being renovated when two crooks broke in through a small window, stealing thousands of dollars of new appliances.
“They disconnected these two cables up here and my Wi-Fi right here that had nothing to do with the cameras,” Prieto said. “You see then that they come out the front, let each other in through the back. They open up the front door, and when they get here, you see them run to the street. They come in a box truck, park it right in the front door.”
The men believe the stolen party truck was used to steal the appliances.
“I have a police report for a stolen truck in Broward, and he was victimized and had a report for the theft in Dade, and him and I put the crimes together before anyone else was,” Schultz said.
They did their own police work and realized it happened on the same night.
“He saw my company logos on his surveillance cameras. He looked up my company, looked up our Facebook,” Schultz said. “He saw that on our Facebook, we had posted about our truck being stolen, and that’s how him and I came in contact with each other.”
Both hard-working fathers were victimized by crime.
“It’s gut-wrenching, I mean it’s– me and my wife, we work really hard to provide and to just better our life and family, and then, to have someone come in and rob you of everything you have, it’s a violating feeling,” Prieto said.
“A family got ripped off of their home and possessions in Miami,” Schultz said.
Both men are hoping to get their stuff back and the thieves arrested.
“I can’t wait for Israel and I to both be at the scene when they catch these guys and meet each other,” Schultz said. “It’s a bad situation to meet each other, but it’ll have a good ending once they catch these guys.”
Both men said they got some relief by being able to share their stories with each other.
If you have information about either burglary, call Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS and Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward of up to $5,000.
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