The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office says they’ve busted a theft ring that targeted lawn care businesses.
Deputies believe the thieves are responsible for stealing lawn equipment and vehicles valued at more than one million dollars over the past four years.
Major Clyde Eisenberg says many of the victims were small business owners.
“This is somebody losing their complete job,” said Eisenberg. “I mean they probably owe money on this equipment and they’re probably not insured and there is no way they can recover, other than starting from scratch again.”
Eisenberg says detectives noticed a pattern of thefts last year, then gained information that led to a search warrant being served at a storage facility.
Eisenberg says detectives recovered stolen equipment from twelve separate thefts, dating back to 2009.
Corine Shaw works for a lawn service that had a truck, trailer and equipment stolen.
“Walking out and seeing it gone, you don’t know what to do, you’re lost, that’s your business, gone,” Shaw said.
Deputies arrested Anthony Jerome Woods, Kenneth Javon Pride, James Julius Flucker III and Frank Edwards Jr. in connection with the thefts.
They face a variety of charges, including grand theft and dealing in stolen goods.