"Stay away from that landscape company,” orders judge

By Mary Elizabeth Williams-Villano

The man who got that warning is accused of stealing equipment from the business.

A missing snow blower and a circular saw belonging to a Rowley, Massachusetts landscape company have landed the owner of an engine repair business in trouble, according to a story published in the Newport Daily News and posted on newburyportnews.com.

Trenton Wendell, 47, of Peabody had been charged with larceny over $1,200. A Newburyport District Court judge recently continued that charge without a finding for one year. Other charges of larceny under $1,200 and larceny from a building were dismissed.

Wendell was also ordered to stay away from that landscape company — where he’d previously worked — after admitting that a judge or jury could find him guilty of stealing a circular saw and snowblower from it last October. If he complies and stays out of trouble with the law, the remaining charge will be dismissed after one year, according to the story.

Wendell owns T&A Small Engine Repair in Salisbury. Rowley police officers found the stolen equipment at the business, according to their report. It states that in early October 2018, the owner of a Route 1 landscaping company reported the theft of five snowblowers and three circular saws that happened over the course of the year.

The owner questioned employees who’d had access to the storage building where the items were kept and quickly narrowed his suspicions to Wendell. He’d been hired to fulfill snow removal contracts and later became the company's small engine repair expert. He was also the only employee who worked inside the storage building daily.

When Rowley police officers interviewed Wendell, he admitted he took a snowblower back to his business and told them he’d sold it as scrap metal for $12.

This explanation failed to convince the officers, who did some further digging. A detective found the stolen snowblower for sale on Craigslist. Police then obtained a search warrant for Wendell’s place of business and found the snowblower in a trailer on the property.

One of the circular saws that had also been reported missing by the landscape company’s owner was found there too according to a report written by Officer Patrick McGettrick.

When confronted, Wendell denied stealing the items, claiming that he had permission to borrow them and would bring them back to his former boss.

"I explained to Wendell that this was not the case and that he would be charged for larceny for the two pieces of equipment," McGettrick wrote in his report, according to the story.