I really wish I didn’t have to write this letter to you.
I have become a victim and really don’t know how to address that fact without an attempt to “fix” the problem. I am a survivor. It is just part of me.
I am a retired ship captain and have to work to make ends meet as my measly pension barely covers my monthly expenses.
I mow yards and haul away trash for folks who don’t have a pickup of their own. I also own a (secondhand) chain saw and can cut up and remove tree limbs and such. I don’t make very much, but every little bit helps. Plus, it is honest work that keeps me active and fit (after a fashion).
In April, I bought a Murray 22-inch [red] mower from our local Walmart.
With it and my pawn shop weed whacker, I was slowly getting a lawn care “home business” together. It is hard work but honest labor, and I enjoy being outdoors as much as is possible.
Then, last week, someone came onto my lot and stole my mower, my chain saw and a second mower I had just resurrected from the junk pile.
The two mowers were chained together and to the trailer under which they were stored nearly out of sight. The chain saw was hidden under the same trailer in an old feed sack as a sort of “homemade” saw case. The chain itself was not enough to keep my tools safe from the thief or thieves. Don’t count on a chain alone.
I called the sheriff’s office, and when the deputy took the info, he was glad to see that I did have the serial numbers to all three items.
“This is a good thing because without the serial numbers, there is very little chance that we can find your mower. Just think of how many ‘red mowers’ there are in Bee County alone, let alone the State of Texas,” was his statement on my actually having the serial numbers for his report.
I hope that I will have my property returned to me at some point, but for now I have had to make a loan and take money from my savings in order to get another mower and chain saw so that I can continue to make a living.
I write to you in hopes that I can share a little bit of this hard lesson I have learned. I hope that everyone in Bee County will write down the serial numbers to all of their yard tools, bicycles, window A/C units and power tools. This makes it nearly impossible for the thief/thieves to pawn them anywhere in the entire U.S. Nowadays, computers can reach to Bee County from anywhere in the U.S.
With this economy, everyone is looking for a “good deal,” but a mower, chain saw or tool kit bought for really cheap might be stolen goods and that might get one into trouble with the law if it turns out actually to be stolen.
As well as writing down the serial numbers, I would highly recommend that everyone mark their property with a unique mark of your own design. Just like the brands a rancher uses on his/her cattle. [X is not such a hot choice in this case.]
Sadder and poorer but back at work,
Capt. Gregory Gooch