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Valley family helping handyman who had truck and trailer stolen

handyman
Posted at 4:40 PM, May 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-11 13:58:00-04

SCOTTSDALE, AZ — UPDATE:

The handyman's truck and trailer have been found!

According to Phoenix police, they were recovered Monday evening in the area of Cave Creek Road and Utopia. The investigation remains open.

Handyman Eric Piepenbrock says the truck and trailer are mostly undamaged, but someone did steal tools and equipment from the trailer. They went through it and left it a mess.

He says a woman in the neighborhood noticed the parked truck and trailer since Saturday and called the number on the side last night to ask why it was still parked there.

Piepenbrock says he was shocked to get them back, but he's happy.

Original story:

A Valley family is trying to help their handyman after his truck and trailer were stolen while he was working in a Scottsdale neighborhood.

Eric Piepenbrock has been a handyman in the Valley for nearly 20 years. He works for M&H Handyman Service, and he and his partner do small-scale remodels and a variety of services.

"People want ceiling fans put up, maybe a garbage disposal, drywall patch repairs, all kinds of things--electrical, plumbing," he said.

He's done work for Carolyn Holemon at her home in Scottsdale for a few years. She said her kids call him "Mr. Eric" and love learning from him.

Piepenbrock was working there Friday and said he parked his F250 and trailer across the street from the house.

"Windows were down on my truck and my trailer was unlocked and the doors we closed. So I went out to get to retrieve some tools and it was completely gone," said Piepenbrock.

He thinks he left the truck keys in the middle console, thinking the truck would be safe.

They never imagined someone would steal both the truck and trailer---with the company logo on it.

"It was broad daylight, nothing like that has ever happened here. Never even had a package stolen," said Holemon.

"Inside trailer, was rolling hardware store. Literally. I can't put a dollar amount yet on tools and equipment that I go to daily that I've amassed during the course of 18-20 years," said Piepenbrock.

He said that will be the hardest to replace, and it's what he needs to continue to work.

"In my opinion, because it's my stuff and I feel so violated I feel like somebody has a goldmine on their hands. I don't expect to get any of the stuff back to be quite honest," he said.

Holemon wants to help.

"I want to show my kids that bad guys don't win," she said. "And that the community can come together and make something good out of a bad situation."

She's shared the story on social media, hoping someone will see the truck and trailer or help any way they can. She created a GoFundMe account for Piepenbrock.

"I know this kind of stuff happens to people, and they get their property stolen. It just really hit me hard because he's just such a great guy," said Holemon.

Piepenbrock estimates the truck, trailer and equipment could be worth close to $40,000.

"I just feel like I've been stripped and beat down and kicked in the gut a bunch over this," said Piepenbrock.

Because of the house's location, Phoenix police took the stolen vehicle report. A spokesperson told ABC15 no arrests have been made.