Published: Aug 19, 2010 5:51 AM EDT
Updated: Aug 19, 2010 12:23 AM EDT

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. - A warning for landscapers in Collier County. Crooks are stealing lawn maintenance equipment at a record pace. Twenty businesses have been hit and thieves may have a laundry list of businesses they are going to next.

Avant-Yarde, Inc., one of the latest businesses to be hit up, had over $17,000 in equipment stolen. The owner says men in masks cut through the back fence and then cut into the trailers. They stole everything from power hedgers to chainsaws.

Avant-Yarde says deputies think the equipment is being shipped out of the country for cash.

The owner tells WINK News, evidence has even been found of lists who the crooks will hit up next.

The sheriff's office says stealing lawn maintenance equipment has become a statewide problem.