GPS leads police to stolen landscaping equipment

The stolen equipment was found and returned thanks to a GPS in the stolen truck. Photo: Fox13News.comThe stolen equipment was found and returned thanks to a GPS in the stolen truck.

A Florida landscaping company was able to track more than $80,000 worth of stolen equipment to Miami, thanks to the GPS unit installed in the truck the thieves commandeered.

At about 7 p.m. this past Sunday, video surveillance showed a group of men breaking into ArtisTree Landscape Maintenance & Design. The intruders cut a hole in the fence that surrounds the building and proceeded to check truck doors and tried to find a way inside.

They used an axe to breach a cinderblock wall, then spent the next two hours loading 50 pieces of equipment into a van before leaving the scene in a stolen truck. The equipment’s value tallied up to $80,500.

“Rooms that are usually full of equipment were empty,” ArtisTree account manager Jeremy Lepper told “Mowers, edgers, blowers, weed eaters and trimmers had been stolen.”

After contacting police, Lepper decided to check the GPS unit that was inside the stolen truck. The GPS showed where the truck had stopped in a Miami neighborhood.

The information was relayed through Sarasota detectives to the Miami police, who matched serial numbers of the missing mowers and arrested Rauniel Quintero for dealing with stolen property.

The stolen mowers are now back in the garage and ready for use. The Sarasota County Sherriff’s Office investigation is continuing and more arrests are possible.

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