Two arrested in connection with missing lawnmowers in Walters
Published 10:42 am Thursday, December 4, 2014
On May 26, nine commercial grade zero-turn mowers worth more than $80,000 were stolen from a storage location belonging to Walters Outdoor Power Equipment at 27793 Walters Highway in Isle of Wight County.
As a result of a joint investigation between Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office and Southampton County Sheriff’s Office, arrests were made on Christopher Funai, 39, and Herbert Worrell III, 36, both of the 100 block of Lake Street in Chesapeake.
Christopher Funai was charged with:
• Eight counts of grand larceny
• Two counts of larceny with intent to sell or distribute
Herbert Worrell was charged with:
• Eight counts of conspiracy to commit larceny
While investigators from Isle of Wight were working with Southampton Sheriff`s Office, Funai was developed as a suspect in the burglary of Crawford`s Small Engine Repair in Southampton County. Additionally, information received from Suffolk Police Department identified Herbert Worrell as being the suspect in a similar incident that occurred in Suffolk.
There are other jurisdictions in the Greater Hampton Roads and Metropolitan Richmond areas that are investigating similar types of mower thefts. The Isle of Wight Sheriff’s Office is working with these jurisdictions to successfully conclude their ongoing investigations.
The Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s office is also seeking any additional information on this case. If anyone purchased a mower from or had contact with Funai or Worrell, they are asked to contact the Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office at 357-2151.
It was originally reported that eight of the mowers were stolen from the storage location. The owner noticed something amiss when driving by on May 27, and called the sheriff’s office.
The responding deputy and owner discovered that the fence had been cut on the north end of the field along the wood line in order to gain access to the mowers.
The store’s video surveillance system showed what appeared to be a dark-colored Dodge pickup truck pulling a trailer with a lawn mower on it. A witness stated that a suspicious pickup truck was in the nearby cemetery at about 5:20 a.m.