Rash of thefts has landscapers watchful - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Rash of thefts has landscapers watchful

By Jena Johnson - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - An East Texas man tried to chase down a thief, and came face to face with a gun.

Lufkin police say the burglar was caught red handed stealing a chainsaw from the bed of a truck parked outside a lawn equipment store downtown. When the truck's owner went after the thief, the man pulled a gun on him. The thief got away.

Police say this is just one of many incidents where thieves are targeting lawn equipment.

"I mowed my first lawn when I was maybe 13-years-old and I mowed it for ten cents, and I was proud of that ten cents," said Kennith Singleton, owner of K.C.'s Landscaping.

Twenty-nine years in the landscaping business, Singleton said a lot has changed.

"It's lots of hard work and it's pretty bad when people come and take away your possessions," he said.

Singleton said in a matter of seconds a weed eater, push lawn mower and other tools were snatched from the bed of his trailer. "Man, I'm going to say around $1,500 worth and it hurts."

Especially since he has to replace the lost equipment so he can keep working. "In this business you have to have good quality stuff to work with," said Singleton.

"Well, it helps us to sell some more equipment in some ways, but I hate to sell it because of that," said Dale Robertson, owner of Air Cooled Engine and Equipment.

Robertson said Singleton isn't alone.

"This year's just been unbelievable," he said. "I've had several of our commercial cutters that have had thefts this year."

Singleton said he can't afford to risk another theft.

"Here lately you're afraid to take that chance just to leave it especially on a busy street, and where I work sometimes people are constantly walking," he said. 

A business he started in order to make people's lives more beautiful, but he said now he has to protect that job.

Singleton suggests securing your lawn equipment with a cable or a chain and lock. It only costs about 15 bucks, which is worth it compared to what you could potentially lose.

©2009 KTRE. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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