Thieves steal $100k+ of lawn mowers and skid loaders

By Kimberly Holmes – bio | email

CLEVES, OH (FOX19)  - Thieves heist heavy duty equipment in Cleves, and no one sees a thing.

The crooks made off with more than $100,000 worth of lawn mowers and skid loaders, and just in time for the lawn cutting season.

Kubota of Cincinnati service manager Jim Fliehman said crooks stole ten Kubota lawn mowers and four New Holland skid loaders.

"It's not something you can really lift and put in a back of a truck," said Fliehman. "They're definitely a lot heavier. About 800 pounds; 1000 pound units."

The Hamilton County Sheriff Department incident report shows it all happened the weekend of April 10, 2010.

Fliehman said the suspects had a plan. He believes they first cut a hole in this fence. Fliehman said he couldn't believe his eyes when he found it that Monday morning.

"It was a huge gape," Fliehman said. "The fence looked liked somebody just pulled the fence down."

Fliehman said the suspects probably used a universal key that worked on several of the units, and then probably drove the merchandise right out of the gate.

And it paid off. Each stolen unit cost between $7,500 and $27,000. In total, the franchise lost $105,679.

"We just restocked a little bit," Fliehman said. "Hopefully those units will sell, but yeah, it's kind of the wrong time of the year to lose that many units."

Fliehman said the crooks probably drove each unit onto a trailer.

"From what we found out from one of neighbors down the street, they must have stole his tractor trailer," Fliehman said. "Whether they figured they didn't have enough tractor trailer where they went and got another tractor trailer. I mean to remove all those units is all we can figure."

The store didn't have surveillance cameras. No witnesses have come forward.

Still, Fliehman said he believes the crooks bought themselves extra time by starting a fiery diversion a few miles away.

"The Elizabethtown school was on fire," said Fliehman. "It was that Sunday night that we got broken into, because Monday morning, we came in and realized that the fence was down"

Managers at Kubota of Cincinnati are asking for anyone with information to come forward. You can also contact Hamilton County Sheriffs Department: 513-946-6400.

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