500 laptops stolen from locally owned export business
POMPANO BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) -- Robbers made off with more than $100,000 worth of laptops from a locally owned business, Monday night.
"This is the leftover [merchandise]," said Julius Kluger, owner of USA Notebook, Inc., as he pointed at the nearly empty shelves that less than 24 hours earlier were filled with hundreds of personal computers. Kluger, a Hungarian immigrant, opened this business more than two decades ago.
"They had to move 500 of these," he said as he hoisted a laptop model, still in its cardboard box, onto his shoulder. Kluger indicated that whoever was responsible for this robbery had to know his surveillance camera system was down for the first time in 26 years. The perpetrators must have also known that the desired merchandise was stored upstairs, protected by a motion detector on the stairs.
Kluger added that the alleged robbers must have also been aware that the business next door is vacant and does not have an alarm system. The thieves pounded their way through to USA Notebook's storage area, where they stole computers on the ground floor. They then used a ladder to bypass the motion detector on the other side and pounded another hole so they could go after the more expensive models upstairs. The total estimated cost of these items tops $100,000.
Kluger admitted he does not have coverage for these electronics. "I don't have any insurance. You cannot buy insurance for this cost," he said. "I'm out of money. I might lose this business of 26 years, at the same location," he continued.
USA Notebook is an export business that provides computers to customers around the globe. "We've been selling laptops to over 200 countries," Kluger said. "Now I'm going to have to refund some of those payments because now I cannot deliver the laptops."
"I don't believe this could happen to me or my family," said Eva Kluger, the owner's wife, fighting back tears. The Klugers came to the United States in 1972 to flee their country's communist regime.
The Klugers' daughter, Alexandra, elaborated on her parents' pursuit of the American dream. "It's one of those stereotypical stories where they came here with nothing , no English. They built a great life. It's so sad. What do you do now?" she said.
Kluger has restarted the surveillance cameras and has added additional security measures. He said he would be willing to pay $10,000 to get his stolen laptops back.
If you have any information on this robbery, call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward.
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