String of farm equipment thefts reported in East Texas

Allen Cunningham and Bob Evans
Allen Cunningham and Bob Evans

SAN AUGUSTINE, TX (KTRE) - By Jena Johnson - email

SAN AUGUSTINE COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Bob Evans, 74, used to arrive to work before dawn each morning. These empty spaces have a lot to do with the change.

"I noticed marked lamps on a vehicle in the area behind the containers in the warehouse that there's not supposed to be anything there so I didn't stick around," said Evans, who owns Evans Lawn Equipment, just outside of San Augustine.

In a matter of seconds, thieves cut a lock and wiped out a crate filled with five Kubota lawn mowers, priced at more than $7,000 a piece.

"That was the last thing that I'd ever dream that I'd find, come up on thieves violating the property like that," Evans said.

Not once, but twice thieves hit Evans' business, getting away with $40,000 worth of lawn equipment.

"It's quite a loss for the company and the county," San Augustine Chief Deputy Allen Cunningham said.

Cunningham says Evans isn't their only victim. He believes the same thieves targeted Fish and Still in Nacogdoches and the U.S. Forest Service.

"We don't know how many people are involved, but given the nature of the size of the equipment and the weight of the equipment, it's hard to manhandle," Cunningham said.

Right now, there are no leads. The last image Evans has in his in mind, is the taillights of a white dually driving away with his lawn mowers.

"When you put the key in the lock at night and you go home you want to come back the next morning and know that things were just like you left them and when you come in and find something like that it's a feeling of desperation," Evans said.

Evans wants these thieves to be caught, so that sinking feeling will go away.

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