Woman discovers stash of stolen lawn equipment in her shed - with new lock

- Some thieves hijacked a woman's shed in Detroit and used it to hide hordes of stolen lawn equipment. There have been 12 break-ins near the area of Southfield Road and Puritan in Dover the last few weeks. The woman didn't even know the stolen loot was being stashed in her shed -- until her neighbor says she noticed one small detail.

"We were laughing, we were like, how dumb these criminals were," says Joseph Hutchens.

Hutchens and his neighbor discovered some thieves decided to use her backyard shed behind her their homes on Archdale in Detroit to store their stolen loot.

Hutchens didn't even know his lawn mower and other equipment had been stolen until he and his neighbor busted the lock on the door. The bold bandits had the gall to put a new lock on the doors to the shed.

"She noticed her lock was changed," Hutchens said. "So she called me to ask was there anybody in the backyard and I said no, not really. When she went to check, her key wouldn't fit."

They went back there, opened the shed and discovered stolen lawn mowers, snow blowers, leaf blowers and weed whackers.

"They were trying to come back," Hutchens says. "I guess they couldn't take everything, because a couple people have even chased the individuals off."

"I just want my stuff back," says Eugene Nelson.

Nelson is one of those people. Just a couple of days after his garage was broken into and weedwacker stolen, he spotted a young man lining up three lawnmowers, a compressor and another weedwacker right next to his house.

"I asked the young man, 'Where did you get all the stuff here, this is mine!'" Nelson says. "I said look just bring my weed eater back I want it back. 'I'm not a thief,' he says. I said, 'Where did you get all of this?'"

As you may have guessed, the thief didn't answer and carried the stuff away. But not before Nelson was able to snap a picture of him with an air compressor in hand. He also called the police.

Several residents in the west side neighborhood have had equipment stolen after the last several weeks.  A few had their belongings returned after the shocking shed discovery. Many did not.

But you can bet if anyone comes back this time neighbors will be watching.

"It's crazy to take a chance like that," Hutchens said. "It is crazy."

If you have information, contact the Detroit police Breaking and Entering Task Force at (313) 267-4600.

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