Beloved, deaf repairman needs help recovering stolen business equipment

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Deaf Detroit repairman trying to recover stolen tools

A beloved Detroit repairman known as 'Dan the man' had his truck and equipment stolen last week. He is still trying to recover his stolen equipment, as they are specialized and rare. Police are asking everyone to keep an eye out for people trying to pawn them off.

A beloved Detroit repairman had his truck and equipment stolen last week. Now, he is asking the public for help recovering his belongings in order to continue his livelihood.

Daniel Haener, fondly known as ‘Dan the man,’ has helped out thousands of people across Detroit through his business, Detroit Sewer Co. 

Haener is also deaf, so he spoke to FOX 2 through an ASL interpreter.

"So many people are happy with the fact that I can open up their line because they couldn’t afford to have it dug up," Haener said.

On November 8, his truck was stolen, filled with valuable tools and equipment. It was parked right in front of his home on Detroit's east side.

"I don’t understand how somebody could steal a truck that big, and it’s impossible to hide that truck," Haener said. "It’s 10 feet tall."

The items inside are specialized equipment that are serialized and rare – valued at roughly $50,000, he added. 

Detroit police recovered the truck on Nov. 11. It was found in southwest Detroit, but all the equipment inside were missing – and after seeing the damage, Haener did not want the truck back either.

"Once I got there and saw it, it absolutely shocked me," he said. "They had spray-painted it white all over, the whole truck. It was an awful job. It looks absolutely terrible."

Haener and police are asking everyone to keep an eye out for people trying to pawn the equipment off.

"They can’t really sell it without getting caught," Haener said. "Once they sell it, you’ll know exactly whose equipment it was."

However, this isn't the first time thieves have targeted his equipment. 

"They were stolen in 2017, then they set my truck on fire," he said.

Haener has set up a GoFundMe account to help raise money for new equipment, as he is unable to do his job without them.

"Donations will help me to repurchase equipment to start back doing jobs as it is very costly to buy equipment again without help," Haener took to GoFundMe. "This has been the second time since 2017 where thieves have (taken) something very valuable to me."

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detroit Police at 313-267-4600.