Thieves target lawn equipment

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Reported by: Sara Whaley
Updated: 8/31/2013 10:42 pm Published: 8/31/2013 10:39 pm

Police say now is the time to keep a close eye on your lawn equipment, because thieves see it as an opportunity. They're stealing the equipment when you look away.

FOX23 learned that Owasso police are investigating nearly 10 incidents in two weeks.

Thieves aren’t being picky. They’ll take whatever you leave out, trimmers, edgers, leaf blowers, even full-size lawn mowers.

The Fairways addition is a growing community with well-kept yards, which is something thieves are looking for when they're about to strike. It's been one of the hardest hit neighborhoods in the past couple of weeks.

"People take breaks and they go inside or in their backyard,” Lieutenant Nick Boatman told FOX23. “They later came back out to discover their lawn equipment is missing."

The burglary doesn't take long. Owasso police says in some cases, it happens with minutes.

Saturday FOX23 hit the streets with police. We drove The Fairways and another targeted addition The Country Estates. That’s where we found Virgil Richie’s lawn equipment in his yard.

"I was weed eating and doing some random things around the yard, but you can't stay out very long because it's hot,” Richie said.

For that reason, Richie went in for a quick shower leaving his trimmer and leaf blower outside.

"I wasn't planning on leaving it out here for very long."

After we told him about recent thefts, he said he won't leave it out at all anymore.

It's the best way to protect yourself, but there are other ways as well.

Most lawn equipment has serial numbers and they're there for a reason.

"We always suggest owner's write down the brand, serial numbers, and model numbers of all equipment,” Boatman said.

It makes it easier to find the equipment if indeed it is stolen because many thieves pawn it off for quick cash.

Police aren't sure if the incidents are connected, but they are following up on several leads. They also say they are watching the neighborhoods that have been hit.

Also, make sure to shut your garage doors. Open garage doors with valuables in plain sight make for a very easy target.

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