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Visalia vintage car owner offering reward

The hunt is on for the people who broke into a classic car garage over the weekend in Visalia.
The hunt is on for the people who broke into a classic car garage over the weekend in Visalia.

The business owner says the burglars stole credit cards and more than a dozen sets of keys to his vintage cars and he's afraid the burglars will come back.

Vintage car owner Dee Coleman, and owner of The Garage II showed CBS47 the evidence of a struggle to get in Saturday night. The bottom wall was reinforced with wood, so the burglars used the owner's tires as leverage. "They stacked the tires up and went up to the second level, peeled the metal back and then climbed in over to the other side and into our showroom," said Coleman.

The burglars ransacked his office too. "It looked like a tornado, like one of those things you see on the news. It looked pretty bad," said Coleman.

Coleman says the burglars stole expensive tools, a credit card which they used around town, and most importantly, 12 sets of keys to his vintage cars.

There are about 15 classic cars on the property and the owner says they're worth more than a half million dollars.
Coleman says he's noticed small businesses get hit hard recently in the area.  Right next door is a pawn shop. They say not only are they fearful it's close to home, but they've been hit a handful of times and installed security cameras for protection.
Brian Warford with Best Jewelry & Load said, "We're kind of in a rural area and our sheriff's department is stretched very thin and unfortunately criminals know that at night and after hours, they probably have a pretty good opportunity."

Coleman says he's offering a $500 reward to anyone who can help return the keys to his classic cars... no questions asked. "It's hard times for people and we need to all work together to try and deter this kind of stuff," said Coleman.

If you have information and want to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at (559) 498-STOP. You can also call the Tulare County Tipline at (559) 725-4194 where you can leave an anonymous voicemail or text.
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