Police are still searching for landscaping equipment stolen from Stewart’s Garden Center worth over $30,000.

According to Huntsville Police Department detective Marvin Hyvl, between 5 p.m. Dec. 21, and 7:30 a.m. Dec. 22, thieves entered through the gate, which was closed, stole a number of items and exited, leaving the main gate open.

The main item that was stolen was a Powerhouse prowler, which is a piece of machinery used to flatten uneven land. The machinery has tracks instead of wheels and is bright orange with black lettering, which says “Powerhouse” down one side and “prowler” down the other.

“It’s a big trencher that’s got a big platform you stand on to operate it and is used for several different things. When you’ve got a terrain that’s got big, major ruts all through it, if you take this machine over it and it makes it completely flat-grade level in just minutes, whereas if you were trying to do it with a back hoe, it would take days,” said Kim Stewart, owner of Stewart’s Garden Center.

The thieves also stole a custom 16 foot trailer, a chain trencher and other smaller items.

Stewart said the thieves really had to work hard to access it. They had the prowler blocked off with two automobiles to prevent this very thing from happening, but it proved to not be enough.

“They actually moved two vehicles,” Stewart said. “Because it was parked up against a giant ditch, we parked two big vehicles in front of it to prevent anybody from getting to it. The literally picked one up and moved it and the other one we’re still trying to figure out how they moved it. They left those cars in the parking lot, got to (the prowler) and took off.”

Unfortunately, Stewart fears the prowler and the other items are long gone, likely in another state. The only way it could be located is for someone to run the vehicle identification number (VIN) when a sale attempt is made.

“When you have pieces of equipment like this, normally what they do, is whoever steals it takes it to Oklahoma and takes it directly to a big construction site and sell it,” Stewart said. “And what is the likelihood that someone’s going to walk on to that construction site and go, ‘Let me start checking the VIN numbers on your vehicles.’ It’s just not going to happen.”

All she can hope for now is that someone saw suspicious activity that night and was able to identify anything that could lead authorities to the thieves.

“We’re just trying to see if anyone saw something,” Stewart said. “We’ve got all the residences behind us, so maybe someone just happened to see something going on that wasn’t quite right. We’re trying to get anything right now.”

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