Wednesday, January 25, 2012 at 3:12 p.m.
The Broward Sheriff's Office is on the hunt for a "slithering thief" who "shimmied under a semitruck" in West Park and made off with a truck's computer system. The BSO is also apparently embracing alliteration like never before.
The guy needed less than two minutes to get under the truck, which was parked at Lou's Super Service -- a mechanic shop on Pembroke Road in West Park -- and tear out the engine control module. For those not versed in trucker talk, an engine control module tells the truck to turn on -- it's kind of a big deal.
Shon Khan, a mechanic at Lou's, says that the computer alone is worth $2,700 and that ripping it out of the harness in a rush causes about $9,000 worth of damage.
"He's cutting the harness, which completely disables the truck," Khan tells New Times. "This is the second one I've seen. The truckers are coming from New York, and then these guys are just disabling their trucks. They get stuck here for two or three weeks and have no money to fix their truck."
While it sucks that these drivers are getting stuck, you've got to admire the gusto needed to steal a vital part from a truck while it's parked in the lot of a mechanic.
"The guy told us the truck wouldn't start," Khan says. "It took us close to 20 minutes, and we said, 'Damn, the computer is gone. The truck can't start.'"
Khan estimates that the thief is probably selling off the computers for only $500.
The market for truck computers would seem to be niche, and Khan says they're probably being sold to dudes who take three or four "crash trucks" to make one sort-of functional vehicle.