Painter charged with stealing lawnmower and leaf blower


GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Sonny Ray Evans, 48, was arrested yesterday and charged with burglary and grand theft after allegedly stealing a lawnmower and leaf blower from a home where he had recently completed work as a painter.

The theft was reported on April 2, and the victim provided video surveillance footage to a Gainesville Police Department (GPD) officer that reportedly showed Evans driving onto the victim’s property on March 26 in a pickup truck and then walking around the back of the victim’s house and through a fence. Evans reportedly did not knock on the door or announce himself in any other way. The video reportedly showed Evans walking out of the enclosed garage carrying a lawn mower and leaf blower, valued at about $300.

The victim recognized Evans because he had hired him to paint the interior of the house about three weeks before the alleged theft.

Detectives checked Evans’ pawn history and found that he had pawned a leaf blower on April 8 for $32; the serial number of the leaf blower matched a product registration made by the victim’s wife. Surveillance video at the pawn shop reportedly showed Evans pawning the leaf blower.

A GPD officer saw Evans’ car on Newberry Road yesterday, performed a traffic stop, and arrested him for the theft. A search incident to arrest reportedly produced about 0.2 grams of cocaine.

Post Miranda, Evans reportedly admitted taking the lawn mower and leaf blower and said it was a mistake. He said he had left some tools at the victim’s home and decided to take the items when he went back to retrieve his tools. Evans also reportedly said he had sold the lawn mower for $130 and gave the officer the contact information for the person who had bought it.

Evans has been charged with burglary of a dwelling, grand theft from a dwelling, dealing in stolen property, possession of a controlled substance, and falsifying information on a pawn transaction form. He served a 15-year state prison sentence for armed burglary and 14 other charges in Baker County and was released in 2019; bail information is unavailable on weekends.

Articles about arrests are based on reports from law enforcement agencies. The charges listed are taken from the arrest report and/or court records and are only accusations. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 

  • Check this people out before hiring them. I’m sure he use the poor me excuse of I have a drug problem it’s not my fault. He didnt learn his lesson the first time. The difference was he got some good time in Baker County here in Wokeville he will probably get better treatment then the victim.

  • What a sad excuse for a man. Chop off his right hand. Next time – the left. Worthless scum!

    • Your punishment is too severe…In medieval times, a few hours standing in the pillory would fix this. However, I’m ok with the guillotine or hanging of crooked politicians.

  • He got what he deserved I’m glad I was able to get my things back he pawned but wasted 3 years of my life with that scumbag karma caught up to him finally.

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