WEBER CITY — A traffic stop has prompted the arrest of five people allegedly connected to the theft of $5,000 in lawn mowers from a Lowe's in Wise, Va.
According to the Weber City Police Department, Wise County Central Dispatch told area law enforcement to be on the lookout for a green Ford Ranger pickup hauling two John Deere zero-turn mowers that were reportedly stolen from the home improvement store.
At approximately 12:48 a.m., WCPD Officer Mauk was conducting a routine traffic stop when he observed a vehicle matching the truck's description traveling southbound on U.S. Route 23.
Mauk reportedly returned to his cruiser and pulled the Ford Ranger over at the Big Break Exxon No. 2 for a light violation.
Officers with the Gate City Police Department and Scott County Sheriff's Office assisted with the stop.
While stopping the truck, Mauk reportedly noticed a car that was following it pull into the gas station.
The truck's driver reportedly told Mauk friends and family members were in the car.
During the investigation, Mauk found the two mowers being hauled in the truck's trailer matched the description of those taken from the Wise Lowe's location.
The zero-turn mowers were valued at approximately $2,500 each.
Items found in the second vehicle also reportedly linked it to the mower thefts, authorities said.
As a result of the stop, authorities arrested five people, including two Tennessee residents and three Kentucky resident.
The truck's driver, Michael Lewis Ramsey, Jr., of Knoxville, was arrested on charges of possession of stolen property and driving on a suspended license. Anne Lee Bentley, also of Knoxville, was charged with conspiracy, possession of burglary tools.
Authorities also arrested Mark C. Bentley and Jennifer Johnson, both of McRoberts, Ky., and Basil Bentley, of Neon, Ky. All three were charged with possession of burglary tools and conspiracy.
Charges for the theft of the mowers are pending in Wise County. The mowers, and the truck hauling them, were confiscated by Wise County authorities.
All five suspects are being held without bond at the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail in Duffield. They are scheduled for arraignment Tuesday, June 4 at 9:30 a.m.