Wild equipment heist targets local landscaping business
By Andrew Keller, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
Detroit police find trucks charred in Detroit.
BURTON, MI (WNEM) -
The landscaping season is just getting underway, and for a local business, much of the equipment they use to bring home the bacon was found burned to a crisp on an abandoned Detroit street.
"This is our bread and butter, this is it," said Brandon Uhrig, an employee at Atlas Outdoor.
"Just under $100,000, with the mowers, the truck and the trailer," said owner of Atlas Outdoor Sam Gembel.
This wild story starts off at Atlas Outdoor in Burton. Surveillance cameras caught it going down. At about 4:45 Tuesday morning, crooks are seen messing with some equipment in the back. At about 5:20 a.m., they drive off with the truck and trailer in tow.
"It's gutwrenching, you know, that's what we use to make our money," said Uhrig.
Uhrig said watching the truck drive off the lot makes his blood boil. Inside the trailer were four mowers, several weed whackers, leaf blowers and other personal items.
"When something like this happens, it hits home for all the guys because we're like one big family here, so that was a big deal to us," said Gembel.
At 8:15 Tuesday morning, Detroit police contacted Gembel to tell him they found the truck and trailer. Both had been torched, completely charred, and the equipment was nowhere to be found.
"When they take it, they think it's something they think they can just go pawn, but it will come out, and at that point, hopefully somebody gets caught and justice gets served," said Gembel.
"It'll come up. Karma will come back and bite them," said Uhrig.
Gembel said the hardest hit is when he thinks about the 45 guys he employs. The mowers, valued at nearly $12,000 a piece, do have serial numbers. Gembel says it will be next to impossible for them to be sold.
If you have any information, Burton police would love to hear from you. You can also call anonymously to Crimestoppers. That number is 1-800-SPEAK UP.
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