BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Around south Louisiana, the lawn care business is big business, and having the right gear is important. It looks like somebody may have bypassed paying for that gear and just taken what they wanted.
Let's go back a few months to the Memorial Day weekend in May 2016. Maybe people were getting ready for those first days of summer with the kids just out of school so parents were making those plans. Some might have been grilling, but somebody else was stealing right off the campus of Southern University.
"Memorial Day weekend, there were two lawn mowers, 72-inch Gravely lawn mowers, stolen from campus," said Trooper Bryan Lee with the Louisiana State Police.
One look at them and people could tell they were pretty big mowers. They were put away in the work shed near the university's physical plant. Supposedly safe behind locked fences, which turns out were not so safe.
"What we think happened is they came in, cut a hole in the fence large enough to drive those mowers through," Lee said. "Came in, took them out and loaded them up onto the truck and left."
A bird's eye view, like on a map, gives a better idea of the distance they covered that early Saturday morning. From the shop, it was not a far drive to their first fence. After cutting a big hole there, it was a long drive through a field to where they cut their second hole in another fence.
After that, it was all about loading them up onto that truck waiting for them on Mills Avenue, and for those wondering, these aren't cheap machines.
"These two mowers have a combined value of $22,000," Lee said.
So if anyone sees an $11,000 mower suddenly pop up in their neighborhood, pay attention, it might be stolen. A witness said they saw those mowers being loaded up into that U-Haul type truck that morning, with someone driving a sports car nearby helping out.
"It's one of those things where we all have to work together. People in the community also have to come together. Say, 'Hey, this has to stop. We can't continue to steal from each other and the school system,'" Lee said.
It may seem like just a theft, but if they are willing to go to all that trouble for the mowers, they may not think twice about simply busting down someone else's door to break into their home.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (225) 344-7867.