$300K worth of equipment, machines hauled off in heist

- Police are searching for a burglary crew that targeted a long-time landscaping rental, sales and repair shop in Duluth, ramming through their gate with a flat-bed vehicle and hauling off around $300,000 worth of machines and equipment belonging to more than a dozen small businesses. 

"They used my vehicles to steal mine and other customers' equipment," said Dan Lukacs, one of the owners of Keystone Rentals off Abbotts Bridge Road, who said he has never seen or heard of such a major heist in the landscaping industry.

Surveillance shows, shortly before 4 a.m. Tuesday morning, what police believe is at least three thieves using the rollback with a flatbed to plow through the gate, and along with another pickup truck, haul off items from pressure washers, dingos, and other equipment used by independent landscaping companies. Lukacs said the skidsteer that was stolen costs around $60,000 and the dingo costs around $30,000. 

"That's some expensive pieces of equipment," he said. "That's what I feel worse for-- this might be [the customers'] sole equipment. That's what makes them money," Lukacs said.

Police said they are investigating if the heist could be connected to similar burglaries around the Metro or elsewhere, and are working to track the thieves and stolen equipment. Only the pickup truck was recovered in Southwest Atlanta so far. 

"We want businesses to succeed in Duluth. For something like this to happen, it shocks the community," said Officer Ted Sadowski. 

Anyone with information is asked to contact Duluth Police at 678-512-3726. Tipsters who would like to remain anonymous can also receive a reward up to $2,000 for information leading to an arrest.

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