Forty-two lawn care items with a combined value of between $20,000 and $25,000 were reported stolen from Port Royal Plantation over the weekend. The thieves left hedge clippers and cut locks behind, according to a Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office report.
The theft at Ocean Woods Landscaping happened sometime between 5:30 p.m. Friday and 6 a.m. Monday, according to the report. The items stolen included several leaf blowers, weedeaters, hedgers and chain saws.
A deputy met with a manager of the company who said that the items were taken from three enclosed work utility trailers and six landscaping trailers. The manager said the trailers had been locked before he went home Friday and that all were stored within a locked fence. The deputy found five locks on the ground and saw a portion of the fence that had been pulled away.
“An unknown individual(s) laid a piece of plywood up against the outside of the fence in an attempt to camouflage the portion of the fence,” the report said. “Immediately on the outside of the fence, I located a pair of hedge clippers.”
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The deputy wrote that someone used the clippers to cut a path through a small portion of the woods that backed up against he fence. The path led to an open field where the deputy saw “partially fresh” tire tracks.
Due to the amount of rain over the weekend, the deputy was unable to collect a tire impression pattern and instead took photos of the clippers and swabbed the handle for DNA comparison.