APD suspects ‘theft ring’

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Police believe recent thefts at an Andalusia John Deere dealership are part of a multi-state theft ring.

Sgt. Roger Cender with the Andalusia Police Department said thieves struck SunSouth once a month for the last three months, stealing approximately $30,000 of equipment – including two agriculture and forestry utility vehicles, or “Gators.”

“Over the weekend, a zero-turn lawnmower valued at $7,300 was stolen,” Cender said. “A month before that, a Gator was taken, and then, the month before that, another Gator was taken.

“I truly feel like it’s part of a burglary ring where crews come in and hit these dealerships over and over,” he said. “But, the interesting thing that we were told, is that if they take that to any John Deere dealership in the U.S., that piece of equipment can be tracked.”

In March, Marine Police Division of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Fairhope Police Department, Mobile County Sheriff’s Office, and Mississippi Marine Resources Division, along with four other agencies, busted a vehicle theft ring that covered the Alabama coastal area and western Mississippi. Items recovered included two dozen boats, ATVS, boat trailers and motors and other vehicles.

Anyone with information about the thefts are asked to contact the APD at 334.222.1155.