Crime - Sacto 911

Masked individual caught on camera stealing $2,000 worth of gardening tools in Elk Grove

Elk Grove Police are looking for witness tips after a masked individual stole $2,000 worth of gardening tools from a parked trailer early Tuesday afternoon, officials said Wednesday.

The incident took place from 1 to 1:20 p.m. on Denholm Court near Elk Grove Boulevard, according to Elk Grove Police spokesperson Jason Jimenez, and was caught on a neighbor’s security camera.

The victim, gardener Mario Becerra, 42, was working in the area when he realized two leaf blowers and one trimmer were missing from his trailer. He told The Bee he estimated the theft happened no more than 10 minutes before he noticed the missing items.

As Becerra called law enforcement, a next-door neighbor volunteered to check their surveillance video. The footage was published on Facebook by a community news and advertising platform and shows a gray vehicle stopping in the middle of the road.

An individual wearing a full-face white mask exits the passenger’s seat in red sweat pants, a hoodie and light sneakers. The individual moves quickly toward the rear of the vehicle to open the trunk and then takes three large gardening tools from the trailer. The suspect puts the items in the trunk before jumping back into the passenger’s seat. The vehicle leaves seconds later.

“I can’t believe how close (I came) to the guy,” Becerra said. “I was working in the backyard of the house ... and I saw the car with the corner of my eye and it looked normal.”

Elk Grove Police ask anyone with information to call their Crime Tip Line at tel:9166273333. Callers may remain anonymous.

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Caroline Ghisolfi, from Stanford University, is a local news reporter for The Sacramento Bee, focusing on breaking news and health care. She grew up in Milan, Italy.