The Union Recorder

Local News

April 16, 2014

Local lawn equipment thefts on rise

MILLEDGEVILLE — Spring and summer months are prime season for lawn equipment thefts, and local law enforcement reports indicate an uptick in the crimes already this year.

“Naturally you’ll have a spike in this type of theft at this time of year,” said Capt. Brad King of the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office.

He said lawn maintenance equipment is a seasonal item for thieves with an increase in thefts around late March or early April and gradually climbing as spring turns into summer.

“Winter’s gone, and people want to get their yards looking good, but the last thing on their minds is the possibility that someone may steal their equipment.”

King said because owners are not aware of this type of criminal, they tend to leave their equipment and tools in plain sight after use or under an open car garage.

He advised owners not to store equipment in open carports. If the thief cannot see the equipment they are less likely to steal it, he said.  Make sure equipment is kept in a secure storage shed or a locked garage.  

Spring and summer also give thieves the opportunity to steal in broad daylight, according to King. Because of the time of year, it’s routine to see a resident outside with lawn mower or lawn equipment.

“Someone could be stealing a neighbor’s lawn mower or weed eater, and because it’s a common thing to see someone with it outside right now, most people wouldn’t be able to recognize it as a crime.”

He added that in the daytime, a criminal can blend in with other people mowing their lawns without inviting unnecessary.

To better assist anyone who may find themselves the victim of a lawn equipment theft, King reminds residents to write down the make model and serial number of all equipment. If the equipment gets stolen, police can try and track down the stolen items at a pawnshop or on an online auction.

“That’s our best bet in tracking it down,” he said.

The best prevention is to keep mowers and other lawn maintenance tools in a shed, preferably one that can be locked, but if residents must keep items outside King suggests storing them under a tarp and chaining mowers to something anchored. The harder it is for a criminal to get to the item, he said, the less likely they are to attempt to steal it.

 

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