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Published January 05, 2010, 10:36 PM

Burglars Hit Grand Forks Car Racing Team

A local racer says his shop was burglarized.

By: Christine Boggy, WDAZ

A local racer says his shop was burglarized.

Dustin Hapka is a late model car racer who is determined to be ready to race in February. But he says a theft may slow him down.

Dustin Hapka/Race Car Driver: "I kinda thought someone was playing a joke on me."

But that definitely wasn't the case. When racer Dustin Hapka came back from Florida on December 16th, he found his Grand Forks shop had been burglarized. He says at least 75-thousand dollars worth of racing equipment was stolen.

Hapka: "It seems to grow everyday I'm out here cause every time I go to do something I notice something else that's missing."

Hapka believes the burglary took place the weekend of December 12th when he was out of town. Police are investigating, but they don't have much to go on.

Lt. Rahn Farder/Grand Forks Police: "There was very little evidence located at the scene in terms of signs of forced entry or anything like that."

Hapka says 60 wheels, 100 tires, and a motor were stolen. He says the job had to have been done by more than one person and thinks it could be by someone in racing.

Hapka: "I noticed a trail of oil coming around the corner of the shop leading right out the walk in door which surprised me that it was actually picked up and carried right out the door of the shop which would have taken at least three people to do."

Hapka is asking people to look for trailers or trucks with tires in them and also to pay attention to the equipment in local shops.

Hapka: "Anybody that was in a race shop in the area and somebody had a considerably large amount of equipment would be rare."

Hapka says insurance has not paid anything for the losses yet and says he doubts it will cover everything that is missing.

The family says they are offering a five thousand dollar reward for information leading to the arrest or recovery of the stolen merchandise.

If you have any information on the case, you are asked to contact the Grand Forks police department at 787-8000 or email Dustin directly through his website, www.dustinhapka.com.

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