Crook steals lawn equipment from businessman
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WSVN) -- A small business owner has lost his livelihood after a crook drove away with $30,000 worth of lawn equipment.
Otis Smith Sr. is the owner of Otis Smith Landscaping. He said, just before 6 a.m. Tuesday, a thief came to his home and stole all of his lawn equipment. "It's a bad feeling to realize that someone stole the stuff you worked so hard for honestly and being honest in your business," he said.
Otis Smith Landscaping has been in business for 10 years.
Surveillance video shows a man in a hooded sweatshirt walking around the home with a flashlight and moving the security camera away from the trailer. The business owner said that's when three thieves cut the truck lock off, hacked the club device on the steering wheel and sawed off the boot used to secure the trailer's tire.
A security camera in the front of the home shows the same guy with the hooded sweatshirt placing the sawed boot on the front porch.
Otis Smith was not home at the time of the incident, his wife discovered the theft. "It was terrifying. I felt really violated. I was home at the time, and I didn't know what to do," said Charlotte Shipman Smith.
Somehow, Otis Smith's brother happened to spot the truck and trailer in Hialeah, abandoned and stripped of all its tools.
Smith's wife is frustrated that crooks would steal from people who make an honest living. "We go to work everyday. You know? You try to have things decent, and you have people that come and take it from you, and they don't even care," said Charlotte Shipman Smith. "They don't know the impact that they cause on others."
With four adult children, including one in college, Otis Smith desperately hopes police retrieve all of his tools, so he can get back to work. "It's hurting me. All my kids are calling me, asking me, 'What are you going to do, dad?' I said, 'We got to pray. Keep on praying, do not give up.'"
The Smith family said if you come across someone trying to sell you lawn equipment, it could be stolen. They said to be aware of where the equipment is coming from.
If you have any information on this theft, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward.
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