Givhans business owner recognizes truck in tractor theft footage

Thief steals tractor from business, returns to take another
Published: Sep. 16, 2014 at 4:27 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 17, 2014 at 4:45 PM EDT
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JOHNS ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - A Givhans business owner says a white pickup truck involved in the theft of a tractor from Johns Island business was stolen from his company on Friday.

Steve Murray, owner of Carolina Contracting Solutions, says the truck was found running in Green Pond in Colleton County on Wednesday morning. The ignition had been knocked out and all of the tools that had been in the vehicle were gone, Murray said. Dorchester deputies were taking the truck to process for evidence, Murray said.

Murray contacted Live 5 News after surveillance footage from tractor theft aired Tuesday.

A police report indicates Dorchester County deputies responded to a report of a vehicle and equipment theft at Murray's business on Friday night. Employees reported the theft of a white 1999 Ford F350 pickup truck, two welding machines and more than $15,000 in tools and equipment inside the vehicle, the incident report states.

Surveillance footage at Murray's business showed a man with a shirt wrapped around his face to conceal his identity pulled into the lot at 9:57 p.m., the report states. The man attached an open trailer containing the welders to the truck and left the property approximately 15 minutes later and was noted by the deputy to have appeared "very comfortable on scene" and "knew where the cameras were positioned." The suspect also appeared to know the truck was unsecured with keys inside, the report states.

Surveillance footage showed a man stealing a tractor from Treehouse Home and Garden Shop on Sunday night, then returning to take a second one early Monday morning.

Victim Joe Summers said the suspect cut the chain on the gate, and after figuring out how to start the tractor, he drove it across the street and loaded it onto a trailer.

Summers says the the thief came back about four hours later, drove onto the property and took the second tractor.

"Very brazen to come here twice, but you know it was Sunday. Usually that's the witching hour for thieves," Summers said.

The tractors are worth about $65,000, Summers said.

"I'd rather have the guy than the tractors any day because we take one of these guys off the street then what that will do is it'll save somebody else from having to go through what I go through," Summers said.

Deputies have not stated whether they believe the same man is involved in both.

Anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers at (843) 554-1111.

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