Thieves pull off business-crippling heist in Madera

October 23, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
A North Valley commercial landscaping business was forced to a halt Tuesday after thieves broke into their storage facility overnight and stole three trucks, three trailers, and nearly $50,000 in equipment.

By the end of the day, investigators had recovered most of the equipment but one truck and trailer remained missing.

Workers from Grover Landscaping first discovered the burglary around 6:30 a.m. when they arrived at the storage lot and found the locks cut and the gate open.

One of the trucks and a trailer was located in a vineyard Tuesday afternoon. Another truck and trailer were found at a Fresno County home. Investigators say thieves had already tried to remove the company's name from the side of the truck and emptied the trailer's contents into a nearby shed. Commercial lawnmowers were also recovered at the scene. "Some of these lawnmowers run about $15,000 a piece so this is pretty significant," said Sgt. Robert Salas with the Madera Police Department.

The truck's ignition had also been damaged, but employees were still able to drive it away from the home. "We are happy. We get to work tomorrow," said Grover employee Pablo Salazar.