Oxford construction worker lost nearly every tool he owned after his trailer was stolen

Published 10:15 am Wednesday, September 7, 2016


For over 30 years, Rob W. Watts has worked on building or improving the homes of fellow Lafayette County residents. Whether it’s building the porch someone always wanted or fixing a broken pipe, Watts’s livelihood has been built by building for others.

That livelihood was threatened Saturday when someone stole Watts’ box trailer containing just about every tool he owns.

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The Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the burglary. Chief Investigator Alan Wilburn said there have been no arrests.

Watts, 52, is the owner of Team Watts Construction and has lived in Lafayette County since he was a toddler.

The 10-foot box trailer had been parked at a work site on County Road 380 between Oxford and the Paris community for three weeks.

“It hadn’t been moved and nobody ever touched it,” Watts said Monday.

Watts’ daughter, Nicole Derrick, just recently moved into a home in the area and asked her father to help her hang some curtains on the weekend. When he went to the trailer to get his tools, he discovered it had been hauled away.

“They took almost everything I own that helps me earn a living,” he said. “They took away my means of paying my bills. I don’t have the money to replace what they’ve taken from me.”

Inside the trailer were saws, presses, nail guns and more.

“You name it,” Watts said. “We do everything but septic work, including electrical and plumbing work.”

Watts worked on his own until recently when he hired two men to help keep up with work after he almost lost his thumb in a work-related accident.

“Their living was taken from them too,” Watts said.

Adding insult to injury, Saturday was also Watts’ birthday.

Watts said he had a few hundred dollars he was going to use toward purchasing some basic tools.

“I told my guys we’ll build some porches and just start over from scratch,” he said. “We’ll make it. We’re a strong family.”

Derrick said her father didn’t deserve what happened to him.

“Anyone who knows my father knows he’s probably one of the best men in this county,” Derrick said. “He’s the most selfless, kindhearted, hardworking man I know.”