Bradenton pool cleaner charged with stealing lawn statues to support drug habit

SARASOTA -- A Bradenton man who works as a pool cleaner has been charged with stealing bronze lawn statues and scrapping them for cash to support his drug habit, according to the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office.

Jason McMahon, 40, stole $8,500 worth of bird statues from at least three homes on Siesta Key and in Prestancia, according to a news release. However, detectives recovered more statues than were reported stolen, "so if your lawn ornament is missing and you didn't report the crime, or you believe a neighbor who is not in town suffered a similar loss, call the sheriff's office, the release said.

The Sarasota Police Department already has charged McMahon in a separate case, and the Manatee County Sheriff's Office is pursuing additional charges for thefts in its jurisdiction, according to the Sarasota sheriff's office.

"This is a prime example of the level of desperation that is driving local crime," said Sarasota Sheriff Tom Knight. "People addicted to prescription drugs will steal just about anything to fund their habit, and he was getting about $100 for each statue despite their actual value.”

McMahon, who was arrested Sept. 19, is currently in the Sarasota County jail on bonds totaling $10,620 on charges of burglary, theft and possession of drug paraphernalia.