When Douglas Hall walked outside his home in Brandon on Tuesday morning, a disturbing thought went through his mind.
"It's gone. That's my paycheck, my kids' livelihood, my livelihood," Hall said.
The single father of three realized thieves had stolen the utility trailer he uses for his small landscaping service, called Doug Hall's Landscaping.
Hall said all his equipment was on the trailer, including a large industrial lawnmower, weed eaters and leaf blowers.
"Just basically the whole setup to run a lawn business," he said, adding it could cost as much as $12,000 to replace everything.
Hillsborough County deputies said Hall is the latest victim in an all-too-common crime.
"[There are] probably somewhere in the neighborhood of about five to 10 stolen a week," Sgt. O'Neal Jackson said.
Jackson runs the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office Trailer Identification Program. Deputies are offering to stamp trailers with unique serial numbers that can be accessed by the sheriff's office and Tampa Police.
"The majority of [trailers] only have a sticker or small plate," Jackson said. "It's very simple for the thieves to take the sticker right off, and if there's no other identifiers on this trailer, then the likelihood of us being able to return it back to its rightful owner if its recovered is very little."
Jackson said the Sheriff's Office is so focused on cutting down on these kinds of thefts, deputies are offering to come to people's houses to stamp trailers with serial numbers.
For more information on the Trailer Identification Program, call the Sheriff's Office Auto Theft division at (813) 247-8637 or (813) 247-8368.
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