Video leads Lakeland police to man accused of stealing lawn equipment

A lawn-care business was victimized in broad daylight when crooks took equipment from their truck.

LAKELAND, Fla. -- A man was arrested for allegedly stealing nearly $1,500 worth of lawn equipment from a crew that was working at an apartment complex in Lakeland.

Police say last week, Randy Thomas Whitfield, 51, drove a pickup truck right behind the workers’ trailer and took equipment belonging to them.  They say he got away with an Echo trimmer, two weed-eaters and an edger.  In all, the equipment was worth $1,415.

A camera set up on the Florida Southern College campus captured the crime.  Investigators say it shows Whitfield’s pickup drive up, then someone get out, grab the equipment and drive off again. 

All of this was captured on video from different angles.

Through an investigation, officers went to Whitfield’s home and knocked on the door.  Whitfield came out wearing the same clothes as seen on the video.  His truck was backed into the carport and lawn equipment was on the floor lined up and washed.  Investigators say it had markings identifying them as the equipment that had been stolen.

Whitfield was arrested and charged with burglary to a conveyance, grand theft and being in possession of more than one valid Florida driver’s license.

Other lawn equipment that had been reported stolen was also recovered.  Officers are working to get that equipment back to its owner.

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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