Crime & Public Safety

Police: DNA links Hilton Head tree service owner to vandalized, stolen property

The owner of a Hilton Head Island tree service company has been charged with grand larceny and malicious injury to property after DNA evidence linked him to the scene of an incident in June where property of a competing tree service company was damaged.

Leonard Mink, 38, was charged on Monday and taken to the Beaufort County Detention Center, according to detention center records, in connection with an incident that happened between 7 p.m. on June 21 and 7:45 a.m. on June 22 near Hilton Head Island Town Hall.

According to a Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office report, on June 22, the owner of a competing tree service company reported that his employees arrived to work around 7:30 a.m. and found that multiple chainsaws were missing and that the work vehicles and trailers the company owned had flattened tires and other damage. The vehicles had been locked and left in their normal storage location on Town Center Court overnight, the report said.

The report indicated that 10 tires, one gas tank and a hydraulic hose on a wood chipper had been slashed and that five Stihl chainsaws had been stolen.

Deputies found blood on one of the driver’s side utility doors of the victim’s truck during their investigation.

Capt. Bob Bromage said on Thursday that DNA evidence recovered at the scene was found to match Mink through the Sheriff’s Office’s Forensics Services Laboratory.

According to Beaufort County Court and detention center records, Mink was released on Tuesday after posting bail on a $10,000 bond.

Caitlin Turner: 843-706-8184, @Cait_E_Turner