A local man got an unwelcome surprise Tuesday when he discovered a mobile home that he’d plan to use as rental property had been almost totally gutted by thieves.
According to Whitley County Sheriff’s Deputy Ron Bowling, thieves took nearly everything out of the trailer, owned by Corbin resident Darrell Barton: vanities, a garden tub and bathtub, a water heater, toilets, wiring, cabinets, molding the heating and air unit … everything.
"They used bolt cutters so they could removed the electrical box breakers and all," Bowling said. "There was just nothing left. They even removed drywall from the walls."
Barton had placed the trailer on an empty lot directly across from Miller Park in west Corbin about two months ago with plans to use it as a rental property. He’d had trouble getting running water to the home, and was in the process of lying a private water line when he noticed something was amiss.
"He called me while he was there and said he noticed all the shades were down and there was cardboard or plastic over the window," Bowling said.
When authorities when to the home this morning, they found thieves had even taken the blinds out of the mobile home and stuck cardboard over all the windows so no one could see what they were doing.
"He was shocked by all of this," Bowling said. "It’s not uncommon for people to rip electrical wiring out of a house, but this is way beyond that. What are they going to do with toilets?"
Bowling said his first thought was that Barton was remodeling the mobile home when he first stepped inside.
"It was just totally stripped clean. I thought he was working on the place."
Authorities say the home was not yet insured, so any stolen items are a total loss unless they are recovered.
"This trailer is damaged beyond repair. It is a total loss," Bowling said Tuesday. "You’d have to rewire this place to fix it and it’s just not worth doing."
Police say it appears the thieves had been taking fixtures from the home over a period of time. There is evidence they had even used drugs inside the trailer during their theft. A marijuana water bong made of a plastic soda bottle was found sitting on the kitchen counter.
Anyone with information regarding this crime is encourage to call the Whitley County Sheriff’s Department at 549-6006.