DECATUR, AL (WAFF) - Jim Blackburn has been selling repairing and shining shoes since the 1950s. This week, the Huntsville native is considering lacing up his last shoe after thieves stole thousands of dollars in equipment.
Blackburn runs Decatur Shoe Repair on 4th avenue.
During the holiday season, the repair shop also engraves things like belts, bags, hats and more. Sunday, Blackburn realized someone stole his engraving equipment, among other things, from his garage. He suspects it could’ve been gone for weeks.
“I won’t be trying to replace any of that stuff because it’s too expensive. I had the old equipment, and I can’t afford the new equipment, so I’m just phasing that out," Blackburn confessed. “I try to always have a place where I can serve God and man in the same capacity, but it’s all over now.”
Now, his customers are coming together to help him out.
“He wants me to come get deposit money, absurd. I don’t care if he quit and never did anything again; he can keep the money. I wouldn’t take it back. It’s forty bucks. What am I gonna do with 40 bucks?" Scott Casey asked.
Casey met Blackburn two weeks ago. The pair quickly formed a friendship.
Blackburn had not planned to call the police as he consider it all a loss. Casey changed his mind.
Decatur Police say the investigation will get underway within the next 48 hours. They’re goal is to walk his equipment right back into his shoe shop.
“It hurts but it’s material things and they can always be replaced; one way or the another," Blackburn said.
If you know anything that help track down his items, Decatur PD encourages you to call them right away.