Burglars bounce out of business with $50k worth of inflatables



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Posted on September 7, 2012 at 5:44 PM

Updated Friday, Sep 7 at 5:49 PM

FORT WORTH - Be on the lookout for bounce house burglars.

It's no joke. Thieves broke into All Star Party Service on Sylvania Avenue in Fort Worth last week. They stole 16 big inflatables and several blowers.

Owner Chris Stiles said his stomach sank when he saw his warehouse on August 30.

"Pretty much from here on down was completely empty," he says, pointing to bare shelves. "All along the back wall, and all down the center here."

Stiles said the burglars went after the best inflatables -- ones that cost up to $8,000.

They're mainly water slides, with a few bounce houses. Some are as tall as 22 feet and weigh 800 pounds. Several slides were custom made, including a 40-foot-long tropical inflatable with a pool and two palm trees.

Stiles said he's never had anything like this happen since he launched his business in Fort Worth 19 years ago.

"It just amazes me that this is even a problem, people would steal these big, old things," he said, shaking his head in disbelief.

Stiles said he hasn't had to cancel any events, but has had to turn down quite a few.

It's a big hit for a small business. He said it's a $50,000 loss and isn't covered by insurance.

E-mail jdouglas@wfaa.com