HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A man with a 30-year criminal history is back behind bars after being accused of stealing 10’s of thousands worth of high grade lawn equipment.
This crime started in mid-May. That’s when Hendersonville Police say Reinerio Mola Delmonte, 64, was caught on camera allegedly stealing a trailer behind the Lowes in Murfreesboro.
“This is not his first rodeo,” Sgt. Chris Gagnon with the Hendersonville Police Department said.
A week later, police say Delmonte was caught on camera at a Hendersonville equipment sales company allegedly loading up that stolen trailer with two very expensive John Deere commercial lawn mowers with a value in excess of $20,000.
The lawn mowers belong to Dustin Nicholson, a Pleasant View man who had the mowers there to be sold.
The 32-year-old told News 2 when he finds one of his mowers for sale on an internet market place, acting on his accord he posed as a buyer, going to a Nashville location to make sure the mower was indeed his.
When he confirmed it was, Police swooped in.
Nicholson said he wasn’t scared and just wanted his lawnmower back.
Hendersonville police, assisted by officers with the Metro Nashville Police Department, went into the Nashville business acting as a fence for stolen property and recovered one of Nicholson’s John Deere’s that the victim Nicholson said is worth close to $20,000 by itself.
“It feels like the weight of the world is off my shoulders,” Nicholson said.
The next day, Hendersonville police took Delmonte into custody for both mower thefts, charging him with two counts of theft over $10,000.
Police say Delmonte said little.
“Like any old school criminal, they deny all involvement despite how much evidence is stacked against them,” Gagnon said.
Nicholson told News 2 he appreciates the police effort, and hopes his second mower is recovered soon.
Investigators say it appears it’s been sold to a third party in Middle Tennessee.
When asked what he would say to the person arrested for the thefts, Nicholson said, “Hope you learn your lesson.”
Delmonte is in the Sumner County jail.
Police say more arrests and charges are expected from Murfreesboro, Metro Nashville and Hendersonville.
If you know the whereabouts of the other mower, you are asked to call Hendersonville police at 615-822-1111.