Back in business: Stolen lawn care equipment returned to veteran

Jacksonville father had business equipment stolen in broad daylight

By Destiny McKeiver - Multi-media journalist

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Within 24 hours, a Jacksonville Navy veteran and father of three is back in business after police helped track down his trailer of lawn equipment that was stolen from his yard in broad daylight.

The equipment includes a lawn mower, which Eddy Jerry uses for his family lawn care business. Surveillance video from his home captured a man as he backed his truck into the yard, hooked up the trailer and drove off.

According to Jerry, officers with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office caught the man as he was trying to steal from someone else.

"We got really good news about 12:30 last (Thursday) night. JSO called us and initially I was reluctant to answer my phone," Jerry said. "I answered it on the third ring. The officer said, 'Mr. Jerry, we have your mower and your trailer. Would you like to come get it?'"

ICYMI: Navy veteran, father's lawn care business equipment stolen
RAW: Video shows lawn equipment as it's stolen

The trailer was about 10 miles from Jerry's home on the Westside. Police found it in another man's front yard after his neighbor called, saying he tried to burglarize her home.

"I would say to him, 'I forgive you for this.' Thank goodness for JSO. I would encourage him to seek help from the community," Jerry said.

Jerry was initially worried about how he would take care of his wife and three children with no equipment for his lawn care business. He's glad to have his tools back and grateful for those who reached out to News4Jax offering to help him.

Jerry said he contacted those people to thank them personally.

"One customer offered money," Jerry said. "We told them please pass that blessing on to someone else."

To make sure this doesn't happen again, Jerry said he purchased extra locks to keep the trailer secure.

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