Thieves target metro-area landscapers

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The recent rain has been good for business for local landscapers, but thieves have been very bad for business for many.

Some landscapers say they’re being targeted by crooks and they want it to stop.

“I have to keep everything locked,” said Armound Rolland. “You know, it has to be done.”

It’s not ideal, but Rolland says he has to use locks all of the time to keep what’s left of his landscaping tools from being stolen, even when he’s just feet away.

“They took a large portion of our business,” said Rolland.

For the last two years, Rolland has owned and operated his own landscaping business in Albuquerque called Sunrise Landscape. Two days ago, thieves took off with a bunch of Armound’s stuff near Eubank and Menaul.

“I had a lock on it and it was right in front of my house,” said Rolland.

In just a few hours, thieves took off with his $7,000 yellow Walker brand riding lawn mower and a $4,000 steal equipment trailer. They also grabbed his Stihl brand electric sheers and other tools and equipment worth hundreds of dollars.

“Irrigation equipment, bungee cords, burlaps, fuel tanks, chemical tanks,” said Rolland. “We lost in excesses of probably $13,000.”

While he still has enough to do his job, Armound says it’s another devastating blow to his business.

“We were very close to losing our business over this and it’s the second time that we’ve been targeted,” said Rolland.

He says he’s tired of being a victim, but says he’s not the only one either.

“Thieves are targeting landscapers,” said Rolland. “Everybody I’ve talked to has had equipment stolen this year.”

One other major metro-area landscape company KRQE News 13 spoke with over the phone on Friday didn’t want to go on camera, but say they too have been victimized at least three times this year.

With the theft nearly putting Armound’s family business under, he’s hoping others will help keep an eye out.

“Help keep us safe and keep us in business so that we can, you know, keep Albuquerque beautiful and take care of peoples’ properties and continue working,” said Rolland.

An APD sergeant told KRQE News 13 on Thursday that while she hasn’t heard of a spike in landscaping-targeted crimes, she said summer is typically the time of year when property crimes go up overall.

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