Greensboro, NC -- In the past three weeks, there have been at least 22 reported cases of stolen lawn equipment in the city of Greensboro.
Six thefts were reported in a neighborhood off of Wendover Avenue near Meadowood Street. Five storage buildings around Bellaire Street were burglarized and eleven were reported over three days in neighborhoods around Freeman Mill Road.
Greensboro Police are urging residents to take precaution against these types of thefts. WFMY News 2's Morgan Hightower met with a Greensboro man who says he had to learn this lesson the hard way.
Reverend Walter Richmond, Jr. had $10,000 worth of belongings stolen from his home five years ago.
"My lawn mower, I had a vintage pick-up truck that I was restoring, they stole that. Tools, my tools they stole valued at over $1,700 worth of tools," explained Richmond.
He added, "Then, they kicked down my basement door, made entry through the basement, which I now have secure, and started removing all the copper piping that goes to my plumbing out the house."
"They're really not being shy about it at all. It's pretty bold to go up into someone's yard and push their lawnmower away," said Officer Douglas Campbell, Greensboro Police Department.
Officer Campbell says nearly 30 Greensboro residents are missing lawn mowers, weed eaters, and yard tools.
"It is much more than usual."
To protect your stuff, Campbell says think like a thief.
"Pull on your door, check the locks. If it looks unsecured and it looks like someone might break it easy, you might need to repair it or upgrade it," said Campbell.
He suggests locking your sheds and keeping your garage closed. He says to write down the serial numbers on the equipment, too.
Since Richmond's home was burglarized, he has added motion-detector lights and a security system.
"When they light up, they light up the place like its daylight," explained Richmond.
Officer Campbell says these thefts are happening all over Greensboro and believes the thieves might be scoping out neighborhoods before they hit them.
He says the best way to guarantee you will see your stolen goods again, is to keep the serial number.
WFMY News 2