Man Fights Back For Stolen Lawn Mower

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(Memphis) Memphis police say they're seeing an uptick in crimes involving crooks taking other people's property.

Investigators say an accused thief is in jail tonight because his victim wouldn't let him get away.

William Helton is accused of trying to steal a man's lawn mower, but the man demanded it back.

Police say the victim was mowing a lawn when he realized two men had loaded his other mower into the back of a truck, but he would not let them get away.

Police say he jumped on their car, grabbed the steering wheel, and wouldn't let them leave until they unloaded the mower out of the back of their truck.

“Someone might have a gun. You just don't know,” said Deborah Bour, who lives in East Memphis where the attempted theft happened.

It was a bold move to get property back.

“I don't know that I would,” said Bour.

After the man got his mower back, he wrote down the truck's license plate and it linked the crime back to Helton, who police arrested.

Bour might not have stopped the theft but she can relate to being a victim of property crime.

“I mean it happened in the middle of the night.”

Police report since the start of the year, Memphis has seen about 7,500 burglaries with the most amount of property crimes happening in Old Allen, Mount Moriah and Crump precincts.

“They take bikes, weed eaters, lawn mowers,” said George Cook.

The Tillman precinct comes in at number five.

It’s where Deborah lives in East Memphis, the same area of the attempted lawnmower heist, and the same precinct where Cook says he sees stolen goods for sale on his own street in Maime Road.

“What they are not taking from here they are selling to here, and it's got to stop,” said Cook.

We ran a story about the problem at the end of September and Cook says Tillman police patrols have since stepped up.

“They patrol quite often,” said Deborah.

Deborah says she and her neighbors also use the internet to keep an eye on each other and their property.

“High Point Terrace has a Google group,” she said.

Police say electronics have been the most common item taken in burglaries this year.

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