APOPKA, Fla. – Two men were caught in action while stealing plants from an Apopka nursery on the third consecutive night of burglaries reported at the business, police said.
Apopka police had been looking for the suspects in the series of burglaries at Liner’s Patch on Plymouth Sorrento Road since the first one was reported earlier this week.
According to surveillance video obtained by News 6, the first burglary occurred on Tuesday a little before midnight, with the second incident occurring around 7:45 p.m. Wednesday.
“A guy gets out and comes in, loads up the trinettes down there, runs down here and tosses more plants out,” manager Justin Dunn said.
The owners estimated that anywhere from 60-70 potted plants were taken, including drift roses, fashion azaleas, purple formosa azaleas and arboricola trinettes.
They said it appears the plants were stolen by several people who pulled up in a car, then lifted up the fence to move the plants.
Around 8:30 p.m. Thursday, an undercover officer was working a burglary detail near the business when he said he witnessed two men doing the same thing at the nursery and called other officers to respond.
According to an arrest report, the officer watched William Haines, 41, and Daniel Major, 38, pull up to the nursery and get out of a vehicle before Major went under the fence and began handing plants to Haines to load into the car.
When officers arrived, Haines was taken into custody near the vehicle, according to the report. Major tried to hide under a white tarp before officers eventually arrested him. Both men are facing burglary charges, according to police.
The business owner told police more than $1,300 worth of plants had been stolen from the nursery in the last three days. He said he also noticed $250 worth of damage to the fence.
Employees posted photos of the incident on social media and thanked the officers who spotted the men.