Story by Steve Smalley
More than one landscaper has reported recent thefts of equipment taken from trucks parked adjacent to Magnolia homes as workers go about chores.
During daylight hours, thieves have grabbed expensive specialty gear causing hardship and anger among business proprietors.
Mark Kirkland, owner of City Farmer Landscaping, had his $700 backpack blower stolen as he worked near Magnolia Boulevard West and West Howe Street.
“It was the most expensive piece of equipment I had,” Kirkland said. “I had to borrow money to get another one.”
An hour after he found the blower missing, it landed in a pawnshop in West Seattle, according to police who located it three months later. Because Kirkland possessed the serial number and was able to provide it to police, they were able to track down the unit and eventually return it. Now Kirkland has two expensive blowers.
“I don’t leave my equipment out now,” said Kirkland as he blew down the walk near where he originally lost his gear. Born in this area he noted, “you never had to worry about it on Magnolia.”
Another yard maintenance company owned by Tad Anderson was also a victim of this same scam. Working near the 3800 block of Viewmont Way West. Anderson lost his $600 weed whacker in the identical manner as he worked in a yard. This time he actually saw the individuals putting something heavy into a dark-colored pickup.
“All you got to do is stop and grab the stuff. It’s real simple,” he said. “I’m going to be looking over my shoulder the rest of my life,” Anderson said. He added, “I let my guard down. I never had this happen in 30 years. It hurts.”
Both Kirkland and Anderson describe seeing a dark pickup two Caucasian men inside near the scene when the theft occurred.