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Landscaping equipment theft threatens family's livelihood

Posted at 1:08 AM, Jul 10, 2019

BEECH GROVE — A Beech Grove landscaper is afraid his business is ruined after the tools he uses were stolen overnight.

Michael Bishop left his work truck out overnight Monday. By Tuesday morning, it was gone and with it, his livelihood and the way he provides for his family.

"It just feels like I'm out here by myself trying to find a needle in a haystack," Bishop said.

Somewhere in that haystack is a teal Ford F-150. Bishop was in the process of buying it from a longtime friend and still owes him $600.

"He understood one vehicle for a family of four is kind of difficult," Bishop said. "I still gotta pay him. I'm a man of my word, so I gotta do what I gotta do."

Bishop was using the truck to build his landscaping business by hauling a trailer with mowers and keeping equipment in the bed.

"I had two weed eaters," he said. "Backpack blower, power washer, two chainsaws, it's all gone."

The trailer with the mowers was found up the street from where it was stolen. A Beech Grove policeman said trucks are sometimes stolen to steal other things.

"Right now, I only have a mower to cut the lawn," Bishop said. "I can't weed-eat. I can't blow."

That's adding more stress to Bishop's predicament, and he's concerned for his family.

"I'm afraid I will lose clients over it because I can't complete the jobs," he said. "It provides everything, really. The lights, the food."

With the truck gone, Bishop will have to use the family's remaining vehicle to work, which means his kids will have to make sacrifices.

"No more extra activities, gymnastics for the daughter," he said.

Bishop bought most of his equipment for his upstart company in the past few months.

"Seventeen hours a day for the last four months has just went down the drain," he said.

He hopes to get back on his feet and he would appreciate that anyone keep an eye out for his truck.

"I would at least ask the community to look for the truck," he said. "Just help me locate that."

Bishop said his equipment will always be locked up from now on. Beech Grove police are investigating the case and want to remind people to always lock their doors and remove anything from plain sight inside your vehicles.