HOUSTON -

A small-business owner is out nearly $12,000.

The man, whose also an Army veteran, told Local 2 that he was ripped off by battery-stealing thieves.

Deputies said the thieves took 70 batteries from 30 buses, costing Jack Hays more than $8,500 to replace those batteries and another $3,500 to repair the damages.

Hays, 60, told Local 2 that he didn't make a claim because he would likely lose his insurance coverage.