Former Landscape Employee Admits to Equipment Theft

When equipment suddenly went missing after the termination of an employee, Paige Lutomski, the owner of Horizon Landscape in Hartland Township, Michigan, grew very suspicious. So on a hunch, she drove to the house of her former employee, Phillip Rappette, 33, and sure enough, sitting on the bed of his pickup, were all her missing tools. Before the thefts occurred, Lutomski had told Rappette that he would not be invited back to work for the summer. This was news, according to police, that Rappette had not taken well. After that, when Lutomski began noticing missing equipment, she suspected that Rappette might be responsible.

Her suspicions were proven true when she discovered her missing tools in the back of his truck. After confronting Rappette, she called police who then took the man into custody.

A subsequent investigation led to criminal charges against Rappette, who admitted to the theft, including stolen gas from the victim’s tank in the yard. Police found footprints in the area of the incident and later determined that they matched the shoes Rappette was wearing at the time of his arrest. Horizon Landscape’s stolen equipment was found, according to police, in Rappette’s home.

Rappette has been charged with larceny of property valued at $1,000 but less than $20,000, and is being held in the Livingston County Jail on $75,000 bail.