The most famous lawn mower thief in history strode into view of a rear-view camera at a residence in Port Arthur, Texas, just before 10 p.m. on April Fools’ Day.
He might just be another petty thief when he breaks into the garage and emerges with a bike. But instead of just riding, he leaned it against the fence and disappeared from view when he went back inside.
He was walking backwards when he reappeared, pulling what proved to be a lawn mower. He rotated it with ease assuming that mowing had been envisioned in his past. He disappeared from view again, this time returning with a can of red gas.
He was very careful when refueling the lawn mower, capping the gas can with red plastic, then stopping to check the level before refilling. He put the container back in the garage.
He then controls the lawn mower with a single pull of the smooth starter cord. He seemed to assume that was all he needed, as he soon let go of the ropes beyond pushing the mower toward the small lawn at the back of the house.
He continued across the lawn until he was out of sight and that would have been if he had simply stolen the lawn mower. He was on his way to fame when the camera caught him back. He spun in the driveway and his aim became unmistakable as he directed the lawn mower along the edge of the trench he had just mowed.
The guy is mowing the weird lawn.
And he stayed there, moving back and forth until the grass in the back was done. Footage from the front-facing surveillance camera shows him continuing there, walking along a white fence. He turned around to avoid a stone bar. He placed the stone bar outside the fence and made sure to get the spot he missed.
By all signs, he would have finished the job if the sound of the lawn mower hadn’t woken anyone in the house. The boisterous resident called 911.
“Say, ‘Hey, something’s going on outside my house,’ Det. Michael Hebert, a spokesman for the Port Arthur Police Department, told The Daily Beast. “The cops responded and, I think he was still cutting the yard before they pulled up.”
The man dragged the lawn mower as he fled. He abandoned it in a nearby alley.
“Then they couldn’t find him,” Hebert said.
Police quickly identified the suspect as Marcus Renard Hubbard.
Hebert said: “He was just a passing guy. “[Officers] saw him around town and stopped him a few times. “
Homelessness also means no lawn, and it’s possible that the suspect craves lawn mowing as if he had a house of his own. Or perhaps he was doing some penance before leaving with the lawn mower. Police suggested another factor.
“We think this is a drug crime,” Hebert said.
The police noticed something when they reviewed the video.
“At one point, he was mowing the lawn and he stopped and it looked like he was talking to someone, but no one was there,” Hebert recounted.
A burglary warrant was issued to Hubbard, who remained to a large extent through April and into May. The incident did not receive more public attention than if it were just a regular radio broadcast. .
“We are very loyal to what we put out to the public,” said Hebert..
The detective assigned to the case showed Hebert the video in the clear hope that its release could help locate Hubbard. Hebert went to see Sheriff Timothy Duriso.
“I said, “Hey man, this is going to be a statewide story,” Herbert recalls. “I didn’t know it would become a national news story.”
On May 5, the video was posted on the faculty’s Facebook page and immediately went viral.
“I’m not much of a social media person, but my wife said, ‘Hey, you have to read some of these comments,’ Hebert recalls.
Hebert skimmed them.
I have an old lawn mower, he can have it he mows the front yard.
I would like to give this suspect my address…
Is there a new street drug that forces you to work in the yard?!
Does he have OCD and can’t stand looking out at the lawn? He was very careful- even tidy. Set the bike aside carefully, the fence is broken. Is he some kind of guardian angel? I wish I would wake up and see he made my fence.
I left the lawn mower in the shed, it wasn’t locked. Make sure you hit the flower beds too
The reaction was even lower than to the footage of the young man Port Arthur police called “The Ice Cream Litter”.
“We had a kid last year who made a video of himself [as] Hebert said.
One difference is that Ice Cream Licker – identified as D’Adrien Anderson, 24 – confessed that he made the video in the hope of garnering views on social media. He was sentenced to 30 days in prison even though the store’s surveillance footage showed him buying the same crate after filming.
A burglary warrant has been issued to Hubbard. He was still a fugitive on Thursday. Police say the homeowner he mowed has asked to remain anonymous.
Meanwhile, Port Arthur Police posted another remarkable story. This concerns “recent thefts and/or thefts at churches.”
“These thefts are happening within services,” the post said, “It involves multiple people acting together to commit the crime. They are appearing in plain view, but with so many already at the church for the duration of the service, it should be easy to hide in plain sight.”
The ministry declined to provide further details, but Vincent Vu of the parish council at Queen of Vietnam Catholic Church in Port Arthur told The Daily Beast that a group of thieves broke into the rectory shortly after the start of the Holy Mass. Sunday holiday six weeks ago, made in cash. Vu reports that the same group returned last week and was about to repeat the offense but were stopped by a newly hired security guard.
Ve said police said the perpetrator was robbing a church during his service between Port Arthur and Houston. Vu added that thieves also attacked St Joseph’s Church in Beaumont during early Mass on May 8, forcing a back door and making $2,000.
A new viral video of Port Arthur may be in the works, as Vu says the church’s security camera captured two crimes there. He said the thieves used the same car on both occasions and appeared to be comfortable. They only ambushed away when confronted with the guard.
“Very calm,” Vu said. “They know we can’t shoot them. We are a church, we cannot shoot anyone.”
That could be the exact reason why thieves are targeting churches.
“In Texas, everyone has a gun,” Vu noted.
As for the lawn mower case, Hebert said the suspect appeared to have set off a lawn mower before approaching the mower. One question that remains is whether he intends to get the job done by trimming the edges, as he is likely more of a homeowner than homeless and therefore has no lawn.