Summerfield landscaper believes equipment was stolen to pay for drugs

The owner of a small Summerfield landscaping business called the Marion County Sheriff’s Office for help Monday after deciding he was the victim of a theft.

The owner of the company, located on SE 148th St., told a sheriff’s deputy that he believed he knew who stole or traded his equipment for drugs. The names of the suspects and their relationship to the company were redacted from the report, though it appears they could have been employees.

The owner said he was advised of the missing equipment on June 4 after the possible suspects were late returning from a job site. He said they reported that the items, valued at $1,450, were taken off their vehicle while they were working, a sheriff’s office report states.

When re-questioned, the owner said the possible suspects stated the items could have been left at a job site and not stolen off the work truck and trailer. The owner said the items taken, which are orange and white, included a bush trimmer valued at $450, a weed whacker worth $400 and a backpack leaf blower worth $600, the report says.

The deputy provided the owner with a card and case number and advised him to call if he received any other information about the theft. He also notified the Ocklawaha District detective by email to make her aware of the incident.