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Wednesday, Sep. 17, 2014

Bladerunner: Lawn mower thefts solved

Friday, August 29, 2008

"We're just tickled to death," Marshall County Sheriff Les Helton said about the arrest on Tuesday, Aug. 19, of Norman Henry Litchford, 70, of 718 Raysville Rd. in Moore County.

The arrest resulted from a joint investigation of the sheriffs' departments in Bedford, Franklin, Moore and Marshall counties in Tennessee and the Trenton Police Department in Dade County, Georgia.

Litchford is charged with two thefts of lawn mowers and trailers in Marshall County, but it is alleged he has been stealing lawn equipment from a wide area over the past year.

"He was stealing big, zero-turn lawn mowers, four-wheelers, weed eaters ... mostly high-dollar stuff," said Moore County Sheriff Mark Logan.

"He'd back up to fully-loaded trailers with lawn mowers, hitch up and steal the whole thing," said Bedford County Sheriff Randall Boyce.

Property believed stolen by Litchford was recovered in Coffee and Franklin counties. Approximately 16 trailers, 15 lawnmowers, four 4-wheelers, and a variety of other lawn tools have been recovered to date. The investigation remains ongoing and other charges are pending.

The events leading to Litchford's arrival at the Marshall County jail unfolded like this.

At 3 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 13, the 911 center in Dade County, in northwest Georgia, received a report of a blue pickup truck that had stolen a riding lawn mower. Trenton City Police intercepted and stopped the vehicle.

The driver of the truck was Litchford. He was arrested and charged with the theft and the lawn mower was recovered and returned. Litchford was confined in the Dade County jail and then, due to good communication between law enforcement agencies, he was returned to Tennessee.

According to Dade County Detective Adam Reyes, while Litchford was in jail in Georgia, authorities in Moore County, Tenn., executed a search warrant and found a number of stolen items from several states at the residence.

Litchford is being held without bond in Marshall County jail. He has been bound over from General Sessions Court to the September term of the grand jury.

Sheriff Helton said he would like to thank the sharp-eyed citizen who was able to get the description of the vehicle that was involved in these thefts. He also thanked all the officers who put in long hours solving the case, especially Marshall County's Detective Keith Jolley and Capt. Norman Dalton.

"It just took everybody working together and running down tidbits of information," said Helton.

The sheriff advised everyone to keep close track of their lawnmowers, trailers and other outdoor equipment, and certainly to have all serial numbers written down and stored in a safe place. There will be people who cannot get their stolen equipment back because, without the serial number, they cannot prove it belongs to them."We're just tickled to death," Marshall County Sheriff Les Helton said about the arrest on Tuesday, Aug. 19, of Norman Henry Litchford, 70, of 718 Raysville Rd. in Moore County.

The arrest resulted from a joint investigation of the sheriffs' departments in Bedford, Franklin, Moore and Marshall counties in Tennessee and the Trenton Police Department in Dade County, Georgia.

Litchford is charged with two thefts of lawn mowers and trailers in Marshall County, but it is alleged he has been stealing lawn equipment from a wide area over the past year.

"He was stealing big, zero-turn lawn mowers, four-wheelers, weed eaters ... mostly high-dollar stuff," said Moore County Sheriff Mark Logan.

"He'd back up to fully-loaded trailers with lawn mowers, hitch up and steal the whole thing," said Bedford County Sheriff Randall Boyce.

Property believed stolen by Litchford was recovered in Coffee and Franklin counties. Approximately 16 trailers, 15 lawnmowers, four 4-wheelers, and a variety of other lawn tools have been recovered to date. The investigation remains ongoing and other charges are pending.

The events leading to Litchford's arrival at the Marshall County jail unfolded like this.

At 3 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 13, the 911 center in Dade County, in northwest Georgia, received a report of a blue pickup truck that had stolen a riding lawn mower. Trenton City Police intercepted and stopped the vehicle.

The driver of the truck was Litchford. He was arrested and charged with the theft and the lawn mower was recovered and returned. Litchford was confined in the Dade County jail and then, due to good communication between law enforcement agencies, he was returned to Tennessee.

According to Dade County Detective Adam Reyes, while Litchford was in jail in Georgia, authorities in Moore County, Tenn., executed a search warrant and found a number of stolen items from several states at the residence.

Litchford is being held without bond in Marshall County jail. He has been bound over from General Sessions Court to the September term of the grand jury.

Sheriff Helton said he would like to thank the sharp-eyed citizen who was able to get the description of the vehicle that was involved in these thefts. He also thanked all the officers who put in long hours solving the case, especially Marshall County's Detective Keith Jolley and Capt. Norman Dalton.

"It just took everybody working together and running down tidbits of information," said Helton.

The sheriff advised everyone to keep close track of their lawnmowers, trailers and other outdoor equipment, and certainly to have all serial numbers written down and stored in a safe place. There will be people who cannot get their stolen equipment back because, without the serial number, they cannot prove it belongs to them.