Police in Montgomery County say they busted a theft ring that spanned three counties and they say the suspects committed the crimes to support their drug habits.
According to police, the suspects were involved in 37 incidents of theft involving landscaping equipment in Montgomery, Chester and Berks counties throughout May and June.
Shane Hosier has run a landscaping business for the last 14 years. He cuts roughly 70 lawns a week and says it is the first time he has ever had equipment stolen.
"I am rather upset. We went to different houses where we were parked and tried to find out if anybody saw anything and of course nobody saw anything. So I called the police and filed a report," said Shane Hosier.
The men police believe are behind the string of thefts are Daniel Vieldhouse, Jason Davis and Donald Hill.
"Mainly what they would do is find a landscaper working in the area. They would target their area or their truck. They would steal equipment, mainly weed wackers and blowers and then they would pawn that stuff," said Detective Ernie Morris, Limerick Township Police Department.
In addition to stealing from landscaping companies, police say the men would go into hardware stores and write bad checks for equipment. Then they say they would pawn it at shops like American Cash Traders in Reading, that ended up taking a total of 20 pawns during the month of June. People in Montgomery County say they are shocked to hear this happened.
"I am actually very surprised because I really do not hear of anything like that around here. It is kind of disappointing to know that stuff like that is happening," said Josh Hunsberger, Amity Township.
Police say the suspects were stealing landscaping equipment to support their heroin habit. The total loss for equipment and bad checks is $29,000.
Daniel Vieldhouse and Jason Davis were arraigned in Montgomery County today on felony charges. Police have issued a warrant for the third suspect Donald Hill.