JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The owner of a Jacksonville tree trimming business who said a masked burglar took more than $20,000 worth of his equipment on Christmas Eve told News4Jax he was able to get some of his equipment back.
After the original story aired on News4Jax, Justin Hartmann, the owner of Canary Tree Service, said he got a phone call from a man who realized the tree trimming equipment he recently purchased matched the equipment that was taken from Hartmann's lot.
"He had inadvertently purchased some of my equipment, not knowing that it was stolen," Hartmann said. "He realized it was stolen because he saw the news clip."
ORIGINAL STORY: Masked burglar takes off with $20K in equipment
Hartmann said he learned his stolen equipment was sold online the same day it was taken. He also said that the man who returned his equipment had told him that what he bought was all that was left for sale, and he believes all of the equipment has been sold.
"He had a handful of my chainsaws, a couple of blowers and some hedge trimmers, and he gave me that equipment back," Hartmann said. "Now it’s a matter of getting in touch with police to see if they can track down who else purchased my stuff so we can get it back."
Hartman says the theft forced him to lay off several employees because there were more people than equipment that could be used. He learned the equipment was sold online the same day it was taken.
The man who bought the stolen equipment later identified the seller through social media. Records show the seller was recently arrested for trespassing in an unrelated case. News4Jax is not naming him until he has been charged in the equipment theft.