Lifestyle & Human Interest

Thief or Gardening Angel? Man Takes Lawnmower, Fills It with Gas and Then Mows 'Victim's' Lawn


Most thieves have a clear M.O.: Get in, take stuff and get out as quickly and quietly as possible. Every once in a while, you’ll have a criminal with a flair for the destructive, or one who steals weird tokens for the thrill of it, but you won’t often find someone like this man.

That’s because this man, who is loosely being called a “thief” by many, was not behaving like a thief at all. His timing was unusual and his motivation is terribly unclear, and the results have left people scratching their heads.

On April 1 (a curious date to choose, certainly), homeowners in Port Arthur, Texas, were startled when they realized a man had come onto their property, taken their lawnmower, and … mowed their lawn.

The entire spectacle was caught on home security video, and it certainly is curious to see the care with which the supposed thief makes his moves. He carefully sets a bike to the side of the driveway, then he rolls out the lawnmower, fills up the tank with gas and dutifully starts mowing the lawn.

When he reaches a broken picket in the fence along the front yard, he gently picks it up, places it on the other side of the fence and continues mowing.

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According to local authorities, though, the man (identified as Marcus Hubbard) was not welcome and is being charged with “Burglary of a Building” — which is not the same as stealing from a home or structure where someone lives. The charge does not carry the same penalty, but can still be treated as a felony, according to Fulgham Law Firm.

“On 4/1/2022 Marcus Hubbard was seen on Security video burglarizing a residential building, he removed property from within the building without owners’ consent,” the Port Arthur Police Department posted on Facebook on May 5.

“He then is seen on Security video mowing the homeowners front and back yard. Upon Officers arrival Hubbard is seen running from the area while dragging the lawnmower with him. He abandons the lawnmower in an alley and evades apprehension. Hubbard currently has an outstanding warrant for Burglary of a Building.

“If you know this suspect’s whereabouts or have any other information on this or any other crime, call Port Arthur Police at 409-983-8600 or Crime Stoppers of SETX at 409-833-TIPS (8477).

“You won’t be asked your name and you may be eligible for a CASH reward. You can also make an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers by downloading the P3 Tips app on your smartphone.”

The odd circumstances of this case, the fact that nothing really nefarious was done and the lawnmower being recovered from the alley has people wondering why Hubbard is being charged as he is.

“Seriously, the homeowner should be rewarding him,” one person commented on the police department’s post. “Hopefully Port Arthur police have better things to do with their time because going after this guy is ridiculous.”

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“Guess he wanted to make sure it worked before he brought it home lol,” joked another.

“There has to be more to this story,” a third posited. “Was he trying to surprise them? Were they away? Is he OCD and could not stand the sight of the lawn? He’s so careful- tidy even. Puts the bike aside carefully, the broken fence. Is he some sort of guardian yard angel? I wish I would wake up and find he has done my hedges.”

Some people suggested he was on drugs. One person claimed to know Hubbard was autistic and that he’d made an agreement with the homeowners to use their lawnmower to mow their lawn first before mowing other lawns to earn money, but that the homeowners dealt poorly with him.

While we may not get to find out what exactly led up to this event or what Hubbard’s true intentions were, it certainly is a curious case.

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