UNION SPRINGS, Ala. (WSFA) - One morning last week after midnight, someone practically stole Joseph Jones’ lawn care enterprise.
“I was shocked because I was used to seeing the truck every morning. Everything was backed up to the end," said Jones, showing WSFA 12 News exactly where his truck and riding mower once sat.
$20,000 worth of equipment gone and that included his 1994 green Chevy pick-up and the brand new 14-foot trailer.
“I also lost about $500 worth of tools," said Jones, who lives on Peachburg Road.
Jones kept his lawn service equipment across the street neat and orderly in the neighbor’s driveway. Jones and the neighbor had an agreement the equipment would stay there in exchange for free yard cuts.
“I tried to treat everybody right," he said.
Police say they’re on top of it but so far no leads in the case.
“We have stepped up patrols patrolling these neighborhoods trying to catch these people,” said Union Springs police chief Danny Jackson.
Jackson says Jones’ case is an isolated one and added that overall crime is down in Union Springs compared to this time last year.
Jones typically cuts 20 yards a month, a business he started in retirement after spending more three decades on the road as a big rig truck driver.
“The devil might put me down but I’m gonna go higher. Yes, I plan to start over," he said.
Jones says what really bothers him is the fact he never heard anything. Neither did the neighbors.
“Crazy situation that people can come in your yard, steal your stuff and don’t nobody see nothing and hear nothing," said Natasha Blue.
As Joseph Jones looked over the lengthy police report listing all that was taken, he admitted he should have done a better job of with security.
“That’s a lesson learned,” he said.
The former trucker saw a lot on the road over 35 years but never anything so brazen such as the grand theft of a growing lawn care business while he slept.
Jones says his family is offering an undisclosed amount of money for any information leading to the arrest and conviction in the case.