For more than 20 years, Lee Rogers has made his living the hard way, working out in the hot Florida sun running his landscaping business.
"It's a tough industry and we've – it's been a struggle to keep it going and keep guys working," said Rogers.
Early Saturday morning things got tougher when thieves made off with his pickup truck and trailer full of equipment – equipment that doesn't come cheap.
"It's well over $15,000," said Rogers.
When he realized what had been taken, he wasn't quite sure how to feel.
"I've been angry. I've been sad. I'm lost. I don't know what to do. I feel useless," said Rogers.
Rogers said when he went to bed Friday night his pickup truck and trailer full of equipment was parked in his driveway.
He said when he awoke Saturday morning for work it was gone.
He said he believes this was the work of professionals.
"They're fast. They get in, it's not like let's try to get the truck started, they know exactly how to get it started, they didn't break the window out the door was locked," said Rogers.
Whoever is behind the caper wasn't as careful during the getaway; they sideswiped his mailbox on the way out.
Even though he has no equipment, life must go on.
He has more than 100 customers who rely on his business. They expect him to show up starting Monday morning.
Rogers isn't sure what he'll do.
"A setback like this, sometimes you can't recover from it," said Rogers.
He says his only option is to re-stock, but that comes at a steep price.
"We're probably going to have to go deep in debt again, I'm going to have to go back and buy new equipment again," said Rogers.
As you can imagine, Rogers isn't fond of the suspect who put his Pinellas County small business behind the eight ball.
"These people are scumbags. They're taking from people that bust their butt to earn a living," said Rogers.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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