Sarasota, Manatee deputies charge 4 with stealing lawn equipment, selling it for drugs

Posted by Kate Irby on June 9, 2014 

SARASOTA -- The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office arrested four men on charges they stole thousands of dollars worth of lawn equipment and then sold it to buy drugs, according to a report.

The Sarasota Sheriff's Office conducted a joint investigation with the Manatee County Sheriff's office to arrest four men for connections with an organized retail theft ring.

Bruce Ponder, 26, Richard Easton, 27, Jacob Davis, 26, and Jason Davis, 21, would steal lawn equipment from Lowe's and Home Depot stores in Manatee, Sarasota and Charlotte Counties, according to the report.

The suspects would then pawn and sell the equipment to private individuals, who were unaware the equipment had been stolen, according to deputies.

The suspects are facing 16 charges in Sarasota County and six charges in Manatee County, including organized retail theft, grand theft and dealing in stolen property.

The four men were arrested on June 5 and 6, and all have previous arrests, according to the report. Ponder was out of jail on bond for similar crimes when he was arrested.

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