$100K in lawn equipment stolen
CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. (WSVN) -- Thieves remain at large after stealing tens of thousands of dollars in lawn equipment from several landscaping businesses.
The companies keep their lawn equipment at a Coral Springs storage facility. It took crooks less than an hour to steal $100,000 worth of their equipment.
Sunday morning, the suspects gained entry into the facility by parking in a field behind the business and cutting a huge hole in a chain-link fence and climbing through. Surveillance cameras at the storage facility caught the thieves in action as they grabbed loose items around the business and loaded them onto three stolen trucks.
One of the suspects can be seen cutting a security gate, then pushing it open, so the stolen trucks could drive out of the facility.
The victims are upset and said the thieves stole not only their equipment but their livelihood. Andrew Blecker said, "Two mowers on there, had weed eaters, edgers, pruners and all my handheld tools ... I have lawns today but no lawn equipment."
"This is my tools, what I use to make my living, to feed my family, to pay my rent, to pay my gas, and hopefully one day [pay for] my kids to go to college," said Patrick McDaniels. "I went from feeling helplessness to anger. How could someone steal someone's tools?"
Authorities say lawn equipment theft is on the rise. Last week, a trailer was ransacked in Fort Lauderdale, and some of the lawn equipment inside was stolen. One officer said, "It's very easy money for them."
"I had two more months left on my dump truck," Blecker said, "and I thought I was going to be done with the payments. Now it looks like I'm going to have to start making payments again."
Coral Springs Police have since found Blecker's stolen truck and trailer in North Miami Beach. Authorities have yet to check inside the vehicle, although they doubt any of the missing equipment remains inside.
If you have any information on the whereabouts of the thieves or the two remaining stolen trucks, call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward. The owners of the trucks are offering an additional cash reward.
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