Calgary company out thousands after batteries stolen from trucks

A Calgary business owner says he is out about $10,000 after batteries were stolen from two of his company's trucks.

Theft was the 2nd in 6 months for Just Junk

Mike Darbyshire is the owner of Just Junk waste removal company in Calgary. (CBC)

A Calgary business owner says he is out about $10,000 after batteries were stolen from two of his company's trucks.

Mike Darbyshire, owner of Just Junk Calgary, said Wednesday's theft was the second time batteries had been stolen from his company's junk removal trucks in six months.

"Commercial vehicles like my trucks have batteries mounted on the side in a cage ... so somebody can come by and just cut the cables and take them away," Darbyshire said.

'They're always a hot commodity'

Darbyshire said his staff came in to set up that morning and noticed all of the batteries were gone, and his tool box was stolen from his pick-up truck.

"They're always a hot commodity, I'm in the junk business so I know the value of these things," he said.

The batteries cost at least $120 to replace, he said, and thieves could likely get about $25 for each one.

He reported the crime to police, and also provided them with surveillance footage of the theft. 

Batteries were stolen from Just Junk's trucks. (CBC)

He was able to get the batteries back, but it's going to take up to a week to get the two trucks fixed after the cables were cut.

"For me, for the guys, we get multiple jobs where you need lots of trucks so the guys aren't working," he said. "It affects us, it affects my guys and it affects trust."

The theft stung especially for Darbyshire, who helps people struggling with addiction get back into the work force.

"We work closely with Simon House ... once they've gone through the program they need to go out and find work. My wife helps mentor them and get them back into the workplace," he said.

Just Junk trucks will have to be repaired after thieves cut cables to remove the trucks' batteries. (CBC)

Darbyshire said his staff at the waste removal company were heartbroken by the thefts.

"They were just as upset as me," he said.

Police said there were 10 thefts of batteries reported in January, seven in February and two in March.

The thefts have also been impacting rural communities.

On Wednesday, batteries were stolen from an automotive shop in Nanton, Alta., which is located about an hour's drive south of Calgary.

RCMP were able to track down the suspects later the same day, recover the stolen property and make four arrests. 

With files from Elissa Carpenter, Elizabeth Snaddon