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The search is on for whoever is stealing from a Madison County school. Surveillance video shows thieves driving away with a commercial lawnmower.
Police say the thieves have stolen more than $10,000 worth of lawn equipment. It happened at Mt. Carmel Elementary School off Homer Nance Road.
The school's principal, Rhonda Booth, said a storage shed was cleared out by thieves who broke in twice in the past month.
"We've had push mowers stolen, as well as our commercial zero-turn lawn mower, which of course was quite expensive. Blowers, hedgers, edgers, basically any type of lawn equipment you can think of," Booth said.
The only equipment the thieves didn't steal was a tractor mower.
"We would love for someone to call and say, 'I know who this,' is so we can get the people off the street," Booth said.
Surveillance images captured a white truck entering the school's property at the end of June. Booth said that's the first time they were hit. The second time, the thieves didn't drive onto school property.
"They parked in the Mt. Carmel subdivision and walked down the hill to our school," Booth said.
She said video captured the thieves entering the neighborhood. The hill leading from the school back to the neighborhood still has tire marks from where the thieves drove the mower to a waiting vehicle. Video later shows the mower loaded up on the trailer of the truck leaving the neighborhood.
Booth said the school has been saving money to build a playground for smaller students, but because the lawn equipment was stolen, the money will have to go toward buying new equipment instead.
"These people are just stealing from the hands of the youngest children we have here at Mt. Carmel. It's just hard to believe that someone would do that," Booth said.
In the meantime, Booth said they're borrowing lawn equipment from the district's central office and have had church volunteers help with the upkeep as well.
Booth has a message for the thieves.
"It takes a lot of people working long hours and a lot of resources and when we have those stolen right out from under us, it's hurtful. I would just urge them to think about what they've really done," she said.
The Madison County Sheriff's Office is urging anyone with information on the stolen equipment to contact them. The school said it's upgrading the security for the shed to prevent this from happening again.
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