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New local businesses raided weeks before opening

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Despite a recent devastating burglary, a new family business is moving forward with plans to open its Wichita Falls store in less than a month.

For more than four decades Wheeler Bar Circle W Sales has been a staple in Altus, Oklahoma.

“My wife and I started the business in 1978 and have been in business ever since,” said co-owner JR Wheeler.

A few years ago they decided to expand their trailer and service sales and truck accessories business in Wichita Falls.

“In 2021, late 2020, we finally made the decision to expand and thought this was the right place to expand with all the customers and stuff asking us to move in this direction so they don’t have to travel enough so far and I thought it would be a good opportunity for us and also for our business,” said co-owner Justin Wheeler.

Just last week, just under a month before they were hoping to open, they got a phone call: their business had been burgled and unfortunately the thieves even took the surveillance recordings.

“From here, they ripped this stuff out here,” Justin said. “The monitor and everything was on this cabinet. They cut all the wires going to all the cameras and stole all the equipment going to all the camera systems. They ripped down the back door, which is how they got in and stole all of our computers and stuff we already had printers installed, and of course they left trash everywhere. So, we tried to clean it up and rebuild the computers to work again.

That’s not all they took, because they took the tires, the heating and air unit, and even the cleaning supplies and toilet paper.

Police said no arrests had been made so far, but the investigation continues.

“I don’t know right now whether there are any clues or not,” Justin said. “We are leaving it to investigators and have not yet been notified of anything at this time.”

To hopefully prevent anything else from being taken in the future, JR said they are ramping up security.

“We have more security,” JR said. “We also have an individual who passes by here several times during the night and things like that. So, we are adding more security. Our camera system will be totally different. It will go to the cloud. There will be many things we will do differently.”

As of Monday, February 20, 2023, the Wheelers are still hoping to open their new Wichita Falls location in early March 2023.

The shop is located off the Northwest Freeway next to the Harley Davidson shop.

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