Theft mows down dreams
A BUDDING entrepreneur has had his plans thwarted after thieves stole the main tool of his trade.
Darren Pace has been mowing lawns in his Mt Roskill neighbourhood for the past two years to earn pocket money and a year ago managed to save $500 to buy a secondhand Victa Corvette mower.
The 15-year-old was planning to set up another lawnmowing run and hire someone to do it before selling it off.
But the project will have to wait after the theft of Darren’s lawnmower in broad daylight as he worked.
The teenager was working with his weedeater and was out of sight of the mower for about two minutes when it was taken.
“I was pretty gutted. It sort of puts you off.”
Darren says he noticed a white van with dark tinted windows drive past him several times just before the mower disappeared.
His father Dave says despite family and neighbours keeping an eye out for Darren as he worked, no one saw anything.
Darren’s mother Jan says his customers are always pleased with his work.
“He’s got such a brilliant attitude for a young boy.”
The family reported the theft to the police and have since been checking with Cash Converters, lawnmower shops and the auction website TradeMe for any sign of the Victa, but with no luck.
Although they could claim insurance for the mower, they would have to pay a $250 excess so Darren says it’s likely he’ll have to save for another one.
In the meantime, a relative has given him an old mower so he can keep up his rounds, but it’s not as powerful as his Victa.
Darren says he will use his bike padlock to chain his mower to trees whenever it’s unattended.
“It’s a warning to other people,” says Jan.
Lynfield Chainsaws & Mowers retail manager Michael Lurman says lots of mowers get stolen over the summer months.
He says with rapid spring grass growth, the machines are a popular target and lawnmower shops are also hit.
“In the last two months I know of three that have been robbed and for the rest of the year, nothing.”
Darren’s Victa Corvette has a grey chassis with a black and red engine and the serial number 7398.379 on it.
Anyone with information about the stolen mower can contact the Auckland central police on 3026400.
Missing mower: Darren Pace is upset that his lawnmower was stolen while he was doing his mowing run.