Veteran recovering from heart attack finds his lawn mowing equipment stolen

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - St. Louis police are searching for the thieves who snatched pricey lawn care equipment from a south city neighborhood.  It belonged to a veteran and his wife trying to make ends meet.

Life hasn’t been easy for Alma and Kenny Kissel. In 2002, they both lost their jobs, so they decided to mow lawns to make ends meet.  Now, A & K Lawn Service mows for churches and the elderly. Some of their neighborhood work is paid with a simple thank you.  Alma Kissel says, “We go through the alleys, keep those cleaned up, knock down greenery for them, those who don’t have equipment to do it.”

Last month, they invested thousands of dollars in brand new Toro lawn equipment: a Snapper, and a 54-inch cut zero turn mower.

“We bought the bigger equipment to move up the ladder,” Kenny Kissel says.

But their big dreams for their small business suffered an even bigger setback.  Last Monday, Kenny had a mild heart attack.  His family spent the night at the hospital, by his side.

While they were gone, thieves snatched the trailer loaded with all their lawn equipment, parked outside their Louisiana Avenue home.

Police say a neighbor’s surveillance camera captured a white Ford Expedition driving away, with the victim’s drop-gate trailer in tow.  “It hurts a lot.  We prayed about it,” Kenny says, “The Lord said vengeance is mine, so that’s the way it is.”

The equipment is usually kept more secured in the backyard, but their son took it out to mow. Now, the Kissels hope someone has seen this black and red Toro lawn equipment, and will come forward, so their business can keep growing to keep up with all that grass, drenched from recent rain.

Alma says, “We’re responsible for the loan, so we’re doing our part in making sure it’s continuing to be paid. Unfortunately we can’t cut our own yard or our customer’s, because we have no equipment.”

Police say there are no suspects at this point.  Meanwhile, a neighbor has started a GoFundMe page for this couple, to help them re-launch their business.

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