DENVER (KDVR) — A local veteran just had the heart of his business ripped away from him when thieves smashed the windows of his work van, stealing over $10,000 in tools.
Brian Nichola went from serving six years in the army to chasing a dream of serving people’s home remodeling needs in Colorado.
“Our company is considered a service-disabled veteran owned small business,” Nichola said.
Last Wednesday was supposed to be the launching point of Nichola and his fiancé Daniele Coller’s business D and B Solutions.
“We woke up to take our state graduate test from college that morning,” Coller said.
“Five days a week, seven hours a day we were in class and working at the same time,” Nichola said.
However, hours before their final HVAC certification exams, the couple learned a lesson in destruction and devastation. They came downstairs to see their neighbors crowding around their work van. The windows of the van were smashed, their catalytic converter was sawed off and all of their tools and supplies were ravaged.
“I could barely breathe when I saw it, they took everything to me, that’s how I provide for my family,” Nichola said. “I cried honestly, I did, I’m not going to lie.”
The couple tells the FOX31 Problem Solvers they learned another hard lesson too when they went to report to their insurance. Since it is a work van broken into at an apartment complex parking lot, Nichola said neither their renters nor business insurance will cover the losses.
“We’re highly ensured for our business, we carry a $2 million policy,” Nichola said.
“It feels like we are paying almost for nothing,” Coller said. “That is our personal property, our tools are our artist’s paintbrush.”
Without tools to perform or the funds to replace them, the two graduates are stuck empty handed simply wanting to work.
“We just gave the bid on a job that was a $13,000 job, but we had to give the job up,” Coller said.
Nichola created a GoFundMe, even offering to help repay those donating with free services through his business once he gets new tools.