At 12:45HRS, I received a radio call alerting me to respond to an attempted theft of a lawnmower at 345, Savannah City. David Carson reported the incident, claiming that his neighbor, Gareth Smith, had attempted to steal his lawnmower. Upon arrival, I proceeded to enter the house of the complainant, whom I found outside with the lawnmower. I asked for his identification, and after verification, I enquired about what had happened. Carson explained that he had bought the lawnmower from his neighbor about a month ago for $120. In the morning, he took out the lawnmower to mow his lawn. He went back into the house for a short time to get his sunglasses and after returning, he found Smith standing next to the lawnmower. He demanded more money for the lawnmower from Carson, and threatened to take the machine back if he failed to pay him the required amount. I enquired from Carson if he had a receipt to confirm that he had given Smith the complete amount for the lawnmower, but unfortunately he did not have one. After that, I asked him for his contact number and saved it in my phone; I told him to wait while I went and spoke to Smith.
I proceeded to Smith’s house, and found him outside, trimming the fence. I asked for identification in order to confirm that he was the person I was looking for. He promptly sought to know why I was at his place and I informed him about the accusation that had been made against him by Carson. He plainly claimed that the lawnmower did not belong to Carson. I sought an explanation from him about what was happening between him and his neighbor so that I could get his side of the story as well. He claimed that he had sold the lawnmower to his neighbor about a month ago but he had failed to pay the full price of the lawnmower. I informed him about Carson’s claim that he had paid $120. Smith agreed to have received that amount but added that it was only a part of the total amount. He told me that they had agreed on $240 as the total price, with $120 being paid on delivery and the remainder, after a week. For that reason, Carson, according to Smith, was in breach of their agreement because now one month had passed and he still had not paid the rest of the amount. He used that as justification for attempting to confiscate the lawnmower until it was fully paid for. I asked if he had talked to Carson earlier about the payment and he answered in the affirmative. He said Carson had informed him that the mower needed reparations, and that he had paid $200 for that, and therefore, would not be paying the remaining $120. However, Smith refuted the claim that the mower was not in good condition and claimed that it was fully functional at the time of purchase.
I left Smith’s house and told him to wait as I went and talked to Carson again. Upon confronting Carson with Smith’s claim that there is a balance of $120, he explained that the original agreement included a clause, which stated that the total amount spent in repairs, should any occur, would be deducted from the total cost. Since the total amount Carson spent for repair exceeded the amount he owed Smith, he did not pay him back. I asked him if he had a receipt to prove that he had indeed spent $200 on repairing the mower, and this time he was able to show me one. I found this to be a civil matter rather than a criminal one and therefore, I realized that these two men had to be advised accordingly on conducting business deals. This would assist in preventing such conflicts from occurring in the future. I asked Carson to accompany me to Smith’s house so that I could talk to both of them regarding their conflict.
With both parties present at Smith’s place, I attempted to explain the true nature of their issue. This was not a criminal offence. Since their agreement was verbal and not documented in any way, the disagreement would have to be resolved in a civil court. Therefore, I advised Smith to file a civil suit so that a judge could decide if he would receive any additional money. However, I warned them against any confrontation or trespass of each other’s property because such actions would complicate the matter further and introduce a criminal aspect to the case. They confirmed that they had understood what I had explained to them and I informed them that I would write a report to document what had happened. I returned their identification documents and Carson returned to his house. I called back at the radio center to confirm my response to the reported incident. I received the number 15-26853 and was given clearance at 1515 HRS. At that moment, I left the scene where the incident had occurred.