JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Robert Jackson was hopeful when police found his trailer Monday morning at Pearl and 22nd streets on the Northside.
Jackson said it was stolen Friday and contains his livelihood, his means of survival: tools for his concrete business. They were all gone, more than $5,000 worth.
"My heart went fell, it just went. I done lost everything. How am I going to do my job come today," Jackson said.
Even though police found his trailer, that hopeful feeling sunk again Monday morning when he looked inside.
"Gone, everything. All the tools, skill saw, cut off saw that you cut concrete with, jackhammer," Jackson said.
Jackson joins nearly 80 others in Jacksonville who have had trailers stolen this year. Many contain tools and lawn equipment, and it's becoming an epidemic. Police and Channel 4 crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson says the only protection is to lock the trailer hitch and do one more thing.
"Keep it hitched onto your truck and butt it up against that building," Jefferson said. "Unless you unhitch that truck, you can't get the trailer."
Police are doing what they can to try and catch the crooks. They are looking for fingerprints and other clues.
For Jackson, it hurts even more. He began his own concrete business after he was injured in an accident seven years ago. He was doing concrete work on Berkman Plaza when the garage collapsed, killing one man and injuring Jackson and others. The settlement he received was enough to buy the tools to get his businesses going, but now they are gone.
"This is my way to make a comeback," Jackson said. "(They) took it all from me in just the twinkling of an eye."
Copyright 2013 by News4Jax.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.