Thief steals carpet cleaning van, forces owner to close business

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GREENWOOD, Ind. – A thief steals more than just a vehicle; he got away with an entire business.

“He stole a livelihood, an entire livelihood,” explains Aaron Newsom, owner of Clean Steps Carpet Cleaning.

On Friday night, after Newsom’s last job he parked his company van outside of his Greenwood home.  On Saturday morning it was gone. The van had everything the business owned, including more than $30,000 in equipment.

“I have no clue what they would even do with it. I mean maybe pawning the equipment to get them something. Unless they know what they’re doing there’s really not much they can do with the van and the unit itself,” explains Newsom.

The white van is the only vehicle for Newsom’s business. Each side has the company’s name, phone number and the picture is of Newsom’s young daughter.

“He’s taken from my whole family so irate would be the better word to use,” explains Newsom.

Newsom tells FOX 59, one of his neighbors mentioned he had a conversation with a man moments before the van disappeared.

“It’s pretty bold and if that was the guy then he actually talked to one of residents here before he even did it,” explains Newsom.

No van means there’s no way to work so in the past few days Newsom has been forced to cancel more than 20 jobs.

“The best case scenario is the van just turns up, maybe he just took it for a joyride and dumped it somewhere, that’s the hope I have,” explains Newsom.

If the van isn’t found, Newsom admits he may have no choice but to close his business and find other work.

“For the past 4 years I’ve worked, my heart out to get where I am as far as that company goes and it’s just gone in the blink of an eye,” explains Newsom.

Newsom is offering a $1,000 reward for the return of his van. If you see the van, you’re asked to call the number on the side or Greenwood Police.