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Cumberland Authorities Investigate Lawn Equipment Thefts

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CUMBERLAND COUNTY, N.C. — Some thieves in Cumberland County are getting their hands on lawn equipment, and authorities need your help.

James Fields says his four wheeler is invaluable, but on Thursday, he noticed it was missing.

"You know you get out here and work all your life to pay for things and some whatever comes by and steals it. It's just not right," he says.

Authorities believe Angelo Locklear is the ringleader in a series of garden equipment thefts. They say Locklear enlisted the help of Erica Prather and Shonnie Long in those thefts.

Authorities say both women would knock on the front door of a home to see if anyone was there. Authorities say if no one was at home, they would proceed to steal something from the garage or shed.

Authorities say the suspects took more than 50 pieces of lawn equipment in the past 30 days. Authorities have arrested Long and Prather, but they are still looking for Locklear.

Investigators say in some of the cases, there was actually a lock on the doors, but the suspects would use bolt cutters or a screwdriver to break it. Although no lock is robberyproof, authorities suggest using something more secure to make it difficult for a suspect to carry out the crime in just seconds.

Authorities also say people may not have realized that their lawn equipment has been stolen. They are asking residents in southern Cumberland County to check their garage or shed. If you notice something is missing, you are asked to contact the Sheriff's Office.