SHELDON, SC (WTOC) - Over the weekend, Beaufort County investigators responded to Huspah Plantation Road in Road in Shelton regarding a burglary in which over $5,000 worth of landscaping equipment had been stolen overnight.
Deputies met with the victims who said someone went into barns on her property and stole a Snapper riding lawn mower and a backpack blower. She said this is the second time it's happened in as many days, as between May 31 and June 1, someone took landscaping equipment from her property. They also took weedeaters, a chainsaw, and a white, gas-powered golf cart.
After deputies took the report and searched the Sheldon area for the stolen equipment, they were advised that the victim was following a white Ford pickup with landscaping equipment in the back, which she believed was hers. She said she lost sight of the truck on a dirt road as the male driver sped up when he realized she was following him. The victim further stated that when the driver sped up to get away from her, it fishtailed and a few pieces of equipment fell out of the truck's bed and onto the roadway. Deputies met with the victim and began to search the area for the truck.
Shortly thereafter, deputies found the truck in the yard on Trash Parkway. In the same yard, they saw equipment matching the description of the equipment reported stolen by the victim on Huspah Plantation Road. Of particular note was a Snapper riding lawn mower with a screwdriver in the ignition in place of a key. Also in the yard was a male, who, when approached by deputies, refused to answer any questions about the origin of the landscaping equipment, but did advise that the pickup was his. He was identified as 55-year-old Michael Buckner. He was arrested for receiving stolen goods (over $2,000), when the Snapper riding lawn mower was confirmed to have been stolen from the victim's barn.
Deputies contacted investigators to respond to Buckner's residence and assume the investigation. They obtained a search warrant to seize the equipment. When they searched Buckner's home, they seized numerous pieces of landscaping equipment in which the serial numbers had been removed. Ultimately, investigators recovered equipment reported stolen from the Huspah Plantation victim's barns in both incidents, and in addition, a generator was recovered which had been stolen from another Huspah Plantation victim's property last week. The white, gas-powered golf cart has yet to be recovered.
Following his arrest on Sunday, Michael Buckner was transported to the Beaufort County Detention Center and incarcerated. His bond was set at $5,000 for the receiving stolen goods charge by a magistrate, which he posted and was released. The origin of some of the equipment found at his home are still under investigation, as is the consideration to charge him additionally.
Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to call SSgt. Brandon Disbrow at 843.255.3407, or CrimeStoppers at 1.888.CRIMESC if wishing to remain anonymous and for possible reward.