On Your Side: Fresno landscaper of 40 years set back after trailer, equipment stolen

CBS47 On Your Side

FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – A Fresno resident who has worked for almost 40 years as a landscaper had his trailer full of equipment stolen in the middle of the night.

A neighbor’s surveillance camera showed what he says are the thieves towing thousands of dollars worth of lawn mowers and tools.

61-year-old George Neal spent 36 of his years as a self-employed landscaper. When he saw his life’s work being towed away, it was a feeling that went straight to his gut, wondering if this would mean the end for the business he worked so hard for.

George Neal is the type of worker who wakes up with the sun seven days a week. He’s always had an eye for landscaping and bringing life to a client’s property. Last week, Neal says his trailer full of equipment and tools worth more than $4,000 was stolen.

“Practically my whole life’s work was in that trailer,” George Neal said.

Surveillance video from a neighbor shows an SUV turning a corner in a neighborhood near the intersection of W Ashlan Ave and N Hughes Ave in Northwest Fresno.

On the back of that SUV was Neal’s trailer after the lock from his truck was cut.

“I got up about 5 that morning, came outside, and just hit the ground,” Neal said. “My trailer was gone. That’s a gut cutter.”

A neighbor called CBS47 On Your Side, wanting to be a good neighbor – just like Neal has been for him.

“Everybody needs a good neighbor,” Joshua Moon said.

Moon started a GoFundMe on behalf of Neal.

“You can tell that it’s straining him, now that his trailer and equipment have been stolen,” Moon said. “You can tell it’s harder for him.”

George Neal has a family to provide for.

“I have 12 grandkids,” Neal said. “I see my grandchildren every day. They come say ‘Pawpaw are you hurt,’ I tell them no, pawpaw doing good, it’s going to be okay.”

He began to question whether this set back would push him into retirement.

“I don’t know. Right now, I mean I’m hurting because of what happened.”

He decided he will not let the thieves steal from him twice; not allowing them to take his business too.

“I’m going to get me some more equipment and keep working,” Neal said. That’s what I’m setting forward to do. I’m not going to walk away from it.”

A police report was filed but nothing has been recovered. If you’d like to help Neal’s Landscaping, GoFundMe page is here.

If you would like more information on his lawn services, the business number is (559) 355-7992.

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