A Prince George’s County landscaping business has been severely disrupted this week after burglars stole nearly all the power equipment belonging to DLC, Divine Landscaping Company of Fort Washington, Maryland.
“Tuesday morning, I notice one of my trailers is missing … so I go in my warehouse and my heart stops. All of my equipment is gone — my zero-turn mowers, my weed-whackers, my blowers, all of them are gone,” said Kelvin Moore, 34, owner of DLC.
Surveillance video showed a white van, with as many as three people, drove onto the property well-before dawn Tuesday morning at 8009 Allentown Rd., which also includes a nursery and garden center Moore calls Jirah’s Place.
“To add insult to injury, they bust the glass, climbed through my warehouse, took all of my equipment, put it on my trailer and took my trailer too,” said Moore, also lamenting the loss of his 17-foot, heavy duty, double-axel trailer.
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The burglary has left Moore and his landscape crews bereft of the tools to do their jobs. He’s not yet heard from his property insurance company for losses he estimated at about $38,000.
“This is years of hard work gone in a matter of moments,” Moore said.
Moore said he’s been building his business for years, from when he first started cutting lawns in his hometown of Clinton at age 12.
“I cut grass in middle school for my teachers and … neighbors,” said Moore. He started cutting his neighbor’s lawn after the man lost his wife in the 9-11 attack on the Pentagon.
“That was a life changing moment for everybody,” Moore said.
Prince George’s County police said the burglary is an active investigation and detectives are working to develop a suspect lookout.
In the meantime, Moore has been trying to borrow some equipment from friends, while also striving to keep his fledgling nursery and garden center going. Jirah’s Place is on the grounds of what was formerly Roozen’s Nursery, which closed last year after more than four decades at the site.
Among the items stolen is a zero-turn ride-on lawn mower that Moore said is his pride and joy.
“It’s a special edition zero-turn machine. It’s all black and it looks tricked-out like a golf cart in Virginia Beach. The rims on it are amazing. This is a very, very, very rare machine,” said Moore.
Moore said he’s not defeated by the setback of burglary and vowed to carry on his work and feed his family.
“I reached out to my clientele — some of them are prepaying for services and stuff like that. I’m just trying to work, bro, to pull myself up because with this garden center now, I have a lot of overhead and responsibility that I didn’t have before and I can’t afford to, even without my equipment, stop for a moment, so I’m just going to keep pulling. I got five kids, man, and I can’t stop,” Moore said.
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