Petty theft caught on camera becomes Facebook phenomenon - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Petty theft caught on camera becomes Facebook phenomenon

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Put this one in the stupid crime file: a man and woman were caught on camera stealing a lawnmower in broad daylight. But that's not what makes it news. The real story is what came next. 

Bret Donaldson parties with rock stars. Actually, he feeds them with Stellar Catering.

The Germantown father works exclusively with touring artists like Tom Petty, Billy Joel, and even sir Paul McCartney. 

But Sunday afternoon his business hit a sour note. 

"It was actually sitting where this is, right under here," Donaldson said, describing where his lawnmower was before it was stolen."I have the benefit of living and working in the neighborhood, so I grabbed my lawnmower, brought it over here, had a couple of errands to run."

Surveillance video from Donaldson's catering office, a small house near Highland Avenue and Baxter Avenue, showed what happened next. The lawnmower is taken away: stolen, in fact.

"Any chance these people thought that it was trash?" asked WDRB's Gilbert Corsey. 

"I would understand that point of view if it had been in the alley or a public easement, but clearly they had to walk up 100 feet onto private property to get it," Donaldson said. "In hindsight, I probably should have put it in the warehouse."

Donaldson didn't think much of the $200 loss. He didn't even call police. But since the crooks came in the middle of the day and were caught on camera from three different angles, he says he thought, "Why not ask the neighbors?" 

"Thanks to social media and a little posting on Facebook, it has become a little bigger now," Donaldson said.

Ten-thousand people viewed the video in just three days. Some even recognized these faces. 

"Three or four friends made the comment that they had seen them in the neighborhood offering to mow lawns, walking around with the lawnmower," Donaldson said.

Those tips have almost turned into an online manhunt. One person says they spotted the pair near Texas Street and Charles Street Monday near the Germantown Kroger. By Wednesday, they were seen off Lydia Street, between Hoertz Avenue and McHenry Street, still in the neighborhood. 

"We actually found someone that it seems they actually did mow their lawn and left a name and phone number as well," Donaldson said.

Donaldson eventually did call the police. The man who parties with rock starts turned social media into a crime watch.

Donaldson says he's more inconvenienced than angry. He says he just wants the lawnmower back before he needs to cut his grass again. If you recognize the pair in the surveillance video, or know where that mower might be, contact Louisville Metro Police at 574-LMPD.

Copyright 2015 by WDRB News. All rights reserved.

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