South Bay business reunites stolen landscaping equipment with owners

Owner of Campbell’s Gardenland recognized power tools recovered after gang arrests by San Jose police, and had records to link them to theft and robbery victims

Reprint from: San Jose Mercury News Article
By | rsalonga@bayareanewsgroup.com | Bay Area News Group

PUBLISHED: | UPDATED:

SAN JOSE — More than a dozen South Bay landscapers whose stolen gardening equipment was recovered after a series of gang arrests last month were reunited Tuesday with the gear that powers their livelihoods.

The array of lawn mowers, leaf blowers, hedge trimmers, chainsaws and other high-priced power equipment might have languished in a police warehouse if it weren’t for Gardenland CEO Richard Ogawa, who while viewing news reports recognized that many of the tools were bought from his Campbell business.

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Ogawa spotted service stickers for Gardenland — a family-run South Bay fixture since 1960 — on some of the photos released to local media, and contacted San Jose police @sanjosepd He then offered to search his business’ receipts and records to track down their purchasers, leading to a mass meetup Tuesday at a San Jose warehouse.

“Thanks to his company’s excellent record keeping we were able to reach the owners of this stolen equipment,” the police department said in a tweet Tuesday. “He saw the original story and knew he could help.”

The power equipment was allegedly stolen either through robberies or thefts linked to a series of alleged armed gang crimes investigated by SJPD, who made more than a dozen related arrests in mid- to late-February.

Police said several victims were landscapers and gardeners who discovered some of the suspects using bolt cutters to pry their power tools away from secured chains on their pickup trucks. When the victims tried to intervene, they were either assaulted, threatened with guns, or both. At least two of those thefts were partially captured by either eyewitness or security cameras. #reunited #community #thievessuck We got your back @immaculatelawntx @cityofcupertino

Thank you @SanJosePD @SJPD_PIO and @robertsalonga at the @mercnews