ROSEVILLE (CBS13) – Gone in seconds, thieves are getting away with thousands of dollars in stolen property, while their victims are busy at work and have no idea they’re being followed and targeted.

Gilbert Rodriguez was out a hedge trimmer worth $600, a lawnmower worth $1,200, plus other smaller garden tools.

Rodriguez, a landscaper, says he’s missing “between $1,600 and $1,800 worth of equipment.”

He says it happened in a matter of minutes.

“It’s never happened before,” said Rodriguez.

For 15 years, Rodriguez never felt the need to lock up his trailer while on the job.

“I never had to close it,” said Rodriguez. “They’re safe neighborhoods.”

That all changed, two weeks ago.

“So I’m getting ready to grab a blower and I step in here 07 and i notice everything that i had here was gone it’s missing 10.”))

Roseville police say they’ve seen several cases of gardener grand theft, three in the first half of the year.

Then, in just the last month, there have been four cases of crooks casing landscaping trucks in broad daylight, and swiping thousands of dollars in equipment when the landscapers aren’t looking.

“It’s awful,” said Rodriguez. “It just feels like they invaded your privacy.”

But, the thefts cut much deeper than that. Rodriguez says it robs landscapers like him of much more.

“It’s a pain because that’s my monthly income. Without that, we can’t do what we do,” said Rodriguez.

Rodriguez says he’s warned other landscapers he knows that he’s become a victim.

So far, police have not made any arrests.


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