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Traffic stop leads to $70,000 worth of stolen circuit breakers

BY HBSDEALER Staff

A routine highway stop over an expired license plate resulted in the arrest of an Arizona man and the recovery of several hundred circuit breakers stolen from Home Depots in five states, according to a report on WISH-TV, an Indianapolis station.

Steven Wang, 52, was arrested on Aug. 31 by members of the ProActive Criminal Enforcement (PACE) Team, which is made up of officers and deputies from multiple law enforcement agencies. He was driving along Interstate 70 with expired plates and a suspended driver’s license, according to authorities. Wang was also charged with marijuana possession.

PACE officers say they discovered “several hundred electrical circuit breakers” stolen from more than 20 Home Depot stores in Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois and Utah. Ultimately, detectives found several hundred more circuit breakers at another location in Indiana. Investigators believe the stolen merchandise is valued at $70,000.

Wang has been arrested seven times for shoplifting at Home Depot stores all over the country, according to a PACE team spokesman.

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Hardware store owners killed in auto wreck

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Ted and Karen Nichols, owners of Nichols Hardware in Purcellville, Va., were killed in a car crash on Sept. 5 after their SUV ran off a highway and hit a tree, according to an article in the Washington Post. The couple, along with five other relatives, were returning from an apple-picking outing to celebrate the 90th birthday of Doris Louer, Karen Nichols’s mother. Louer also died in the single-car accident.

The driver, Robert Louer, 65, of Florida, ran his Chevy Suburban off the side of Highway 55, over-corrected and drove over an embankment into a tree, according to Virginia State Police.

All of the vehicle’s passengers were taken to the hospital with injuries. Two of the fatalities, Ted Nichols, 64, and Karen Nichols, 63, operated the 100-year-old hardware store in downtown Purcellville, Va., which had been in their family for three generations.

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Florida man buys back family hardware store

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Jeff Gross purchased Ormond Ace Hardware in Ormond Beach, Fla., for the second time in his life, according to the Daytona Beach News-Journal.

Gross was a part owner with his uncle until 1996, when he left the business to pursue a career at Ace Hardware as a Florida-wide business and project manager. Later his uncle sold the business to Nick and Harriet Pasquine.

In July Gross purchased the business back from the Pasquines, who are set to retire.

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