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Thief steals landscaper’s lawn equipment, then tries to sell it back, Illinois cops say

If you witness a crime, here’s what to do

Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.
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Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.

A Beach Park, Illinois, landscaper woke up Wednesday to find that someone had stolen his lawn equipment, police said.

The burglar had cut the lock off his trailer and taken five backpack blowers, two chainsaws and a concrete saw. The man called police that morning to report the crime, according to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

Just a few hours later, Waukegan resident Angelo Rodriquez, 53, called the man -- who he knew had a landscaping business -- to sell some equipment he recently acquired, police said. When the man looked at Rodriguez’s photos of the tools, he recognized them as the same equipment stolen from his trailer, police said.

When the Sheriff’s Office learned that Rodriguez had the equipment, it set up an undercover investigation to pose as potential buyers, police said. The detectives met with Rodriguez to “buy” the equipment and positively identified the stolen items, police said.

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The detectives arrested Rodriguez at the scene. However, he told police he wasn’t feeling well, so an ambulance took him to the hospital.

As soon as Rodriguez was discharged, he tried to run from sheriff’s deputies, police said. They caught him before he got out of the hospital and took him to jail, police said.

Rodriguez was charged with theft, resisting an officer and driving with a suspended license.

Chacour Koop is a Real-Time reporter based in Kansas City. Previously, he reported for the Associated Press, Galveston County Daily News and Daily Herald in Chicago.
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