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Mowers, City of Cumming work truck stolen in burglary
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After a complex heist that hit two local businesses and the City of Cumming Water Department late last week, authorities are searching for a suspect they say used a stolen work truck to take riding lawn mowers worth almost $30,000.

Cpl. Doug Rainwater, spokesman for the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office, said that on May 25 at 1 a.m., one male suspect scaled a fence surrounding the City of Cumming Water Department building at 1835 Dahlonega Hwy., cut locks off a gate, stole a 1997 Ford pickup truck owned by the city and drove it to the Chuck Reynolds Car Company at 1820 Antioch Road.

At the Chuck Reynolds Car Company, Rainwater said the 1997 Ford was used to break through security cabling that surrounded the business, but when the truck became entangled in the cabling, the suspect abandoned it and walked back to the water department building to steal a 2007 Chevrolet Pickup Truck, also owned by the City of Cumming Water Department. 

Rainwater said that the suspect hooked a 14- by 8-foot landscape trailer up to the stolen truck and drove both truck and trailer back across Dahlonega Highway to Terry’s Equipment Sales and Rental at 1815 Dahlonega Hwy.

At Terry’s Equipment Sales, the suspect cut through a fence and attempted to steal three Hustler brand lawn mowers valued at $31,000. Rainwater said that only two lawn mowers were actually stolen in the burglary, but a third was found a short distance from the business.

Rainwater said that they believe that the suspect was specifically targeting the lawn mowers, and must have known the three buildings well.

“They must have known that these vehicles were easy to start up, had to know that there was a trailer across the street, and had to know where the lawn mowers were and what they were worth,” he said.

One incident filed by the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office in the incident also states that the employees of Terry’s Equipment Sales and Rental believe that the suspect entered the store a few days prior to the burglary to “case the business.”

On Friday, store owner, Terry Nixon, told FCN that this was not the first time his business has suffered similar crimes, just the first in recent years.

"Five or six years ago this happened three times in about six or seven months,” Nixon said. “They kept stealing our truck and our trailer, or our ramp truck and hauling off lawnmowers. This time they did not use my truck because we had the gates blocked."

Nixon said that they would always get the truck and trailer back, minus their stolen lawnmowers, when the suspect abandoned it in Atlanta.

And like Nixon explained, Rainwater said that 2007 Chevrolet Pickup Truck and the trailer were found Thursday night, abandoned in southwest Atlanta.

"It's obvious that's where they went to unload the lawn mowers onto something else or that's where they went to sell the lawn mowers," he said.

He said that the lawn mowers have been entered into their GCIC database as stolen, but due to how popular the Hustler brand is and how hard it is for them track items like lawn mowers out in the field, it is unlikely that they will be found through their serial number.

"We as law enforcement really wouldn’t have too many occasions to check serial numbers, looking for these lawn mowers ... and this brand is all over the place," Rainwater said.

In a statement to FCN, Cumming Mayor Troy Brumbalow said that they were pleased that the stolen truck and trailer had been found and no one had been harmed.

In total, Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office Incident Reports list that nearly $50,000 worth of property was stolen or damaged in the heist.