SNELLVILLE, Ga. - A Snellville landscape owner said his workers were shot at while thieves tried to steal equipment.
“Obviously, fearful for them, wanted to know if they were OK,” said Outdoor Inspirations Lawn & Landscape owner, Mark Yarbrough. “Basically their personal safety was my main concern.”
Yarbrough said the thieves opened the door to the landscaping truck and when the workers noticed what was happening they tried to stop them and that’s when the thieves fired four to five rounds.
Yarbrough said thefts is one of the main reasons he’s had to downsize and is exploring other opportunities within the industry after 20 years because he can’t take the hits anymore.
“Incredibly frustrating, incredibly frustrating to get out there and sweat and work hard every day and then have somebody come up and take something that you make a livelihood with,” said Yarbrough.
Mary Kay Woodworth is the executive director of the Georgia Urban Ag Council and said in the past year Georgia landscape owners have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment.
“Theft has always been an issue, but it just seems to be escalating in the thieves and the criminals who are perpetrating these crimes are becoming bolder and bolder,” said Mary Kay Woodworth, Executive Director of the Georgia Urban Ag Council.
Woodworth said the thefts are widespread and different police departments she’s spoken with said they need data, that’s why the organization has spent the last year collecting information from victims of landscape theft.
“The ongoing feeling is always been that it’s a crime of opportunity, you need to lock your truck, you need to secure your equipment, but it is bigger than that,” said Woodworth.
Woodworth said they are also working with city leaders, adding that it’s not just about the thefts, but more importantly the safety of workers.
“The employees are concerned, some are now very concerned about going out and working,” said Woodworth.