Stolen pickup truck is lead in overnight fire at Phoenix business

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PHOENIX -- A stolen pickup truck is the only lead investigators have to go on as they look into a suspicious early morning fire at a Valley trucking business. By Catherine Holland PHOENIX -- A stolen pickup truck is the only lead investigators have to go on as they look into a suspicious early morning fire at a Valley trucking business. By Catherine Holland
PHOENIX -- A stolen pickup truck is the only lead investigators have to go on as they look into a suspicious early morning fire at a Valley trucking business. By Catherine Holland PHOENIX -- A stolen pickup truck is the only lead investigators have to go on as they look into a suspicious early morning fire at a Valley trucking business. By Catherine Holland
PHOENIX -- A stolen pickup truck is the only lead investigators have to go on as they look into a suspicious early morning fire at a Valley trucking business. By Catherine Holland PHOENIX -- A stolen pickup truck is the only lead investigators have to go on as they look into a suspicious early morning fire at a Valley trucking business. By Catherine Holland
PHOENIX -- A stolen pickup truck is the only lead investigators have to go on as they look into a suspicious early morning fire at a Valley trucking business. By Catherine Holland PHOENIX -- A stolen pickup truck is the only lead investigators have to go on as they look into a suspicious early morning fire at a Valley trucking business. By Catherine Holland
PHOENIX -- A stolen pickup truck is the only lead investigators have to go on as they look into a suspicious early morning fire at a Valley trucking business. By Catherine Holland PHOENIX -- A stolen pickup truck is the only lead investigators have to go on as they look into a suspicious early morning fire at a Valley trucking business. By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- A stolen pickup truck is the only lead investigators have to go on as they look into a suspicious early morning fire at a Valley trucking business.

Flames broke out just after 1 a.m. in the area of 21st Avenue and Buckeye Road.

Police believe the perpetrators used welding equipment to cut a hole in the wall of United Truck & Equipment, which building water tanker trucks. Investigators believe the thieves started the fire as they cut that hole.

The suspects tore down surveillance cameras as they stole welding equipment, tools and the owner's pickup truck. The suspects threw the stolen goods in the back of the truck and then backed that pickup through a gate in the back parking lot to get away from the burning building.

Phoenix police Officer Matt Newhaus was on patrol in the area when he spotted the smoke and saw flames coming from the roof.

"I heard the alarm, but I guess nothing had been called in yet," Newhaus said. "The rough estimate now is about $500,000 worth of damage, and it will probably go up from there."

No injuries were reported.

Police are looking for a blue 1993 Chevy pickup truck with a broken tail light. There a no license plates on the truck. It was purchased just yesterday.

Investigators said they might have video of the thieves as they walked up to the surveillance camera to tear it down.

United Truck & Equipment has been operating in the Valley since 1948. While hard copies of the company's business records were destroyed, the owner said they are all backed up on a hard drive.