Owner of tree-cutting business reunited with stolen truck, wood chipper

ROANOKE, Va. – A Roanoke business owner is relieved to see her equipment again after it disappeared Tuesday night.

Carrie Poff said a thief likely stole a wood storage truck and a wood chipper from her business, Brown Hound Tree Service. The reportedly stolen items were found near Smith Mountain Lake in Franklin County on Wednesday.

“This is a newer truck we just acquired, so it means a lot to us on a personal level,” Poff said. “It’s just absolutely not fair and not okay that someone tried to steal that from us, and they should be prosecuted.”

The truck and woodchipper were located by Debbie Robbins, who spotted them on her drive to work.

Robbins said she saw the truck stuck in the mud on Lakewood Forest Road in Moneta and assumed a crew was working. When she saw the truck still there on her drive home seven hours later, she decided to call the business number posted on the side of it.

“People were crossing the center line, getting around the back end of the equipment,” Robbins said. “I thought to myself, ‘This has got to stop, and I hope the owner comes and moves this.’”

“When I called, they said, ‘That vehicle is stolen,’ and I said, ‘I didn’t know that.’”

Poff said the gear was worth more than $57,000. The truck is too damaged for use after the theft, but the woodchipper is already back in operation.

She’s surprised and relieved to have it all back.

“We figured it was in West Virginia or Kentucky with the VIN number scratched off and a new coat of paint,” Poff said. “We’re a hard-working, family-owned business. Regardless of the size of your company, you put blood, sweat and tears into it.”

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