Burglars haul “hot” merchandise in victim’s stolen car

MOLINE, Illinois -- A business in Moline has beefed up security after thieves took off with thousands of dollars worth of inventory, one of many Quad Cities stores targeted by thieves this month.

"It could be $40,000 to $60,000 in one hit," said Brittany Kerr, who owns Custom Whips and Car Audio with her husband.

The store was broken into on Oct. 16 in the wee hours of the morning.

The burglar or burglars stole audio equipment, remote starts, car alarms, and other expensive items, then, loaded it into Kerr's car, which was parked at the garage overnight.

"They packed it full with my own merchandise, and then stole my car with all my merchandise in it," she said.

The Buick SUV was found about a block away, with interior and exterior damage.

Moline police say several businesses including a construction company, and cell phone stores have also been burglarized this month.

Burglaries have spiked in October in Davenport, as well.

For Custom Whips, it's been a struggle to do business so quickly after the break-in, with so much inventory taken.

"Insurance. They're doing their paperwork. I'm doing mine. It could be a few weeks, could be a couple months. So, right now, we're having to come out of pocket to replace items just so we can do our job," said Duan Kerr.

"And, you can't put a value on sentimental tools that you have had handed down to you, so it hurts," he said.

Police have taken fingerprints, and are still investigating. In the meantime, the couple has boosted security at home and at the shop.

"It's unsettling. My husband took me, and I got my first gun," said Kerr.

They also invested in a new home security system, new cameras for the business, and more locks on the door.