Police arrest Jupiter man on grand theft auto charges
A Jupiter man was arrested in Palm Beach on Wednesday after police say he stole a West Palm Beach lawn care company’s truck.
Gregory Rainer, 55, was charged with grand theft auto over $20,000 and driving with a suspended license, according to court records.
The Yohe’s Lawncare & Landscaping truck, a 2017 Isuzu, had been parked in front of The Episcopal Church of Bethesda-bythe-Sea while the workers ate their lunch, said the company’s owner, Brent Yohe.
When the workers went to eat close by, they left the truck’s keys in the cup holder.
After only a few minutes, they heard the truck starting and saw a shirtless man, covered in tattoos, driving away, Yohe said.
The workers immediately notified police, who were able to locate the truck, which had a large company logo on the side, within about 20 minutes, Yohe said.
Rainer was stopped at Royal Poinciana Way and Bradley Place, according to a police report.
“The town of Palm Beach police was awesome,” Yohe said.
The company’s truck was full of equipment at the time, including mowers, trimmers, saws and hedge trimmers, Yohe said. He valued the truck and the equipment at $75,000.
Yohe said he was “absolutely shocked” that the crime took place on the island.
“We all do it,” Yohe said, referring to leaving the keys in the truck. “It’s convenient; we’re in and out of these properties.”
But after the incident, a new policy requiring workers to hold onto vehicle keys was put in place, Yohe said.