Orton's Equipment Company in Stratford hit by thieves

FRESNO, Calif.

The burglary happened overnight on Wednesday at Orton's Equipment Company in Stratford. The store has been in business for over a century.

Orton's equipment company has been in Joshua Orton's family since 1906. The Stratford business has had very few problems over the last century with the exception of Wednesday.

That's when Orton says thieves kicked in the back door -- ransacked the entire place and made off with cell phones, tractor equipment, computers, a generator, even some snacks from the vending machine. "It was a little different. Usually we don't get burglarized because we're on Main Street and we're right across the street from the fire department so it was a little shocking."

Orton's was last burglarized back in the 1930's. Vandals broke in and blew up a safe. That was during the Great Depression. The owner says with the tough times we're seeing today, he's not surprised they were hit again. "Yeah, the economic conditions right now are fairly similar. High unemployment, especially here in Stratford, I think we're upward of 35 to 40 percent, which is basically what they had during the Great Depression."

Orton estimates his losses are in the thousands. Still, he remains positive -- hoping police will find whoever's responsible.

In the meantime he's warning other businesses so they can all be on the lookout together. "Stuff like this has happened, you know, is going to happen, it has happened and if you're in business for any length of time, you are going to be victim of some type of crime."

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