At about 10 a.m. April 6, a DeLand police detective saw a middle-aged man riding a bicycle south on Clara Avenue with a backpack leaf blower on his back. This piqued the lawman’s interest because he knew that a leaf blower (made by the same company) had been stolen from Melching Field in late March.
The detective pulled the bicyclist over and asked him about the appliance.
The individual “spontaneously uttered he had just picked up the Leaf blower from [another individual]’s house to work on.”
However, a sticker on the backpack was embroidered with a number indicating that the tool belonged to the City of DeLand Urban Beautification Department, and a supervisor from that department soon confirmed that the blower had been used earlier that day.
DeLand police prepared to transfer the Leaf Blower Bandit to the police station and, in the process, they discovered a glass tube containing black residue in the Bandit’s back pocket. The black substance tested presumptive positive for cocaine.
So did the Bandit steal the blower to pay for more blow?
Or was he just innocently riding around on his bike, his crack pipe in his pocket, when he saw some unguarded leaf blowers and just couldn’t resist taking one?
Will we ever know?