Deputies are investigating after a medical van was stolen and used to steal a giant, 600 lbs. waterslide in Spartanburg County.
Owner of Mega Rock Challenge and Amusements, Tim Austin, says he caught the crooks on his newly installed surveillance system.
“I’m sick to my stomach to know that somebody is out there stealing. I work hard for what I’ve got and don’t want nothing taken from me,” said Austin.
Going on 15 years, Austin says he takes pride in his family’s party rental business. He said he realized the waterslide was stolen when he came to work Friday morning and then quickly checked the cameras.
With a shirt and hoodie pulled over their heads, the video shows two men get out of the medical van.
Deputies say the van was stolen from the North Grove Medical Center on Highway 9.
Surveillance video shows the two bust into the locked, party rental van and quickly find what they’re looking for.
“It was a $4,000 slide. It’s called the Big Kahuna,” said Austin.
Rightfully so — Austin says when inflated, this stolen slide measures nearly 20 ft. tall, 30 ft. long, and weighs in at more than 600 lbs.
“They ain’t easy to move. They’re pretty heavy,” said family employee, Clark Austin.
But before the deflated slide was pulled out, Austin says one of its stakes was used to strike his camera. In that moment, he was able to capture the image of the crook’s face.
Austin says the pair also got away with the stakes and a custom, heavy-duty cart.
He says someone even came back an hour later to steal the blower, used for inflating the slide.
Employees say the expensive slide was just purchased this summer and was a customer favorite. It was loaded in the truck because it was reserved for Friday morning.
“The kids’ parents and stuff are really tore up that you tell them, ‘Hey, the slide that you rented is gone. I don’t have it now.’ The kids are expecting something and they didn’t get it,” said Austin.
“All we’re trying to do is make sure people are happy and having fun and then someone goes and steals from us. We’re just good people trying to make sure everyone is having a good time,” said his nephew.
The Austin family is offering a $500 reward for information leading to an arrest.
Deputies say they’re still searching for both suspects and the stolen health care van which says ‘American Home Patient’ on the back.
If you have any information, you’re urged to call the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office.