In a distressing incident, a South Bay family has been left reeling from a significant financial loss after surveillance video captured the theft of their construction work van by at least three individuals. The burglary occurred in the early hours of Monday morning at a gated warehouse located on South Main Street, along the Carson-Gardena border. Authorities from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department revealed that the stolen van was subsequently discovered burned.
Despite the charred state of the van, the sign bearing the name “Valasedes Construction Inc.” was still visible. Shane Valasedes, the owner, received a call from a passerby notifying him about the stolen van, which led him to the location where it was found. The fire department had already extinguished the fire.
Valasedes recounted the scene, stating, “Sure enough, all the bins were opened. Tools were ripped out of it, the interior gutted, and then they lit it on fire to top it all off.”
The estimated loss resulting from the incident is approximately $26,000, according to Shane Valasedes. He explained that the side bins alone contained an array of tools valued at around $14,000. Additionally, the burglars made off with construction materials such as bags of concrete, bags of drywall mud, and electrical connections.
Building his own business over the course of eight years, Valasedes expressed his frustration at the repeated burglaries his company has faced since 2020. Each incident has taken a toll on his hard-earned success.
He said, “You raise yourself up, you work so hard, you sacrifice time with the family and going on vacations and things of that nature, and then you finally build everything back up again, you get to that point where you think you’re OK, and then you’re hit again and it knocks you back down again.”
Despite implementing various security measures, Valasedes stated that insurance has been unhelpful in the aftermath of the burglaries. He highlighted the frustrating process of dealing with police reports and insurance claims, often leading to dead ends. The extra costs of high-cost insurance have not provided the desired coverage, as the insurance company often finds excuses to deny claims based on technicalities.
These burglaries have not only caused financial hardship but have also had a profound impact on Valasedes’ family and his children. His 12-year-old son, Nikolaos, expressed his dismay, saying, “It really hurts my family and I don’t really like it, and sometimes bad things happen to good people, and that shouldn’t be able to happen. When others do that, it’s like they take what they want, and they don’t care about anyone else.”
The Valasedes family is now left grappling with the aftermath of the theft and arson, hoping for justice and a resolution to the ongoing challenges they face in protecting their business.