Theft mows down dreams

Central Leader - - Front Page - By Janie Smith

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.

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