With the beginning of spring and lawn work come the thefts of lawn mowers, weed eaters, hedge clippers and other lawn equipment.
Metro police have already had reports of some thefts this year.
“What we recommend people to do is not leave them out in the yard unattended,” South Precinct Paul Trickey said. “You should pull them back into a garage area or storage building out of sight where people going down the road won't see the equipment.”
Commander Trickey said the lawn equipment can be sold for a fraction of what the owner paid for it brand new, but for a thief that's still an attractive incentive.
“I would imagine a lawn mower could be worth $50 to $100 dollars, at least,” he said. “People are looking for an easy way to steal something.”
Metro police also want lawn care companies to be diligent when they are working.
“Do not leave equipment on their trailer so it's readily available for people to possibly steal it and drive off,” Trikey said.
Those are words Mario Martinez plans to heed.
Martinez is not in business yet as a landscaper, but he is planning to launch his business called Bear Care Lawn Service.
Martinez named the business after his dog “Bear.” The duo are a familiar site on Lebanon Pike near Central Pike where Martinez sells “The Contributor” newspaper.
“I sit out here selling my paper, and I see all these landscapers driving by, and it dawned on me,” he said. “I thought, I need to get the equipment. I need to start my own business and see what happens.”
Martinez saved for the next two years and purchased commercial grade lawn care equipment.
He has a John Deere riding lawnmower, weed eaters, leaf blowers and some push mowers.
In all, it is several thousand dollars of equipment.
“Without my loyal customers out there, none of this would have happened. Because of them, Bear and I are going to have a lawn business,” he said. “The equipment is very important because without the equipment I don't have a business and you are only as good as your equipment.”
Martinez takes special care in locking up his equipment and keeping it out of site for that reason.
“I just hope it helps me get back on my feet again, so I can find a home,” he said. “I just want to live a decent life again, because it has been a struggle.”
Martinez expects to be out cutting lawns within the next couple of weeks when the weather warms up and stays warm.
Metro police remind neighbors to keep an eye out for suspicious people or vehicles in their neighborhood.
Anyone who sees suspicious activity is urged to call 615-862-8600, so Metro police can come check out the area.