With the lawns coming out of their summer dormancy, lawn mowers are getting a bit more use again. Unfortunately, they’re also getting stolen more often as well.
Whether it is a high-priced, professional lawn mower such as a Brush Hog zero-turn mower valued at $5,000, taken in Gregg County, Texas or a residential Honda self-propelled mower stolen in Swanton, Maryland, lawn mowers are a popular target.
It’s somewhat surprising, given that lawn mowers aren’t always the easiest piece of equipment to sell. But they do sell – and often to unwitting buyers. Beware of buying lawn mowers from places that can help thieves to sell them quickly and without questions, such as-
- Auction websites such as eBay and Auction.com, which make it easy for sellers to move the goods out of state. If you see a unit listed below the average market value or with no reserve, be suspicious – it’s a good sign the seller wants to move it no matter what.
- Craigslist, which like auction websites, offer no way to validate the seller is the true owner. At least with Craigslist, you can figure out if there have been reported thefts of similar gear in the area recently.
- Pawn shops, as while many pawn shops will require proof of ownership, not all of them are quite so thorough.
- Even in person, such as flea markets or yard sales, some thieves have no scruples about lying to the buyer’s face. They are thieves, after all. Ask them about the function of the machine, or for documentation. They should at least be able to explain how it works – if they can’t, they might not be the owner.
You’ll want to look in to ways to protect your mower – or mowers – from theft, so check out some of the hints offered here or here. Mainly, use common sense and don’t leave your gear sitting around unsecured – always lock it up inside a shed or garage if you can.