Two men charged with stealing $45,000 worth of lawn equipment

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SARASOTA, Fla. - The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office arrested two Bradenton men Friday morning after a chase.  Deputies say the men stole lawn equipment from the Sarasota County Technical Institute campus on Beneva Road earlier in the week.

Just before 3:00am, members of the Tactical Unit spotted a white Chevrolet Silverado on Bee Ridge Road that matched a truck seen on surveillance video from a prior theft and attempted to conduct a traffic stop. The truck fled into Manatee County on I-75, exited onto University Parkway, and eventually stopped in the University Park community. 

That's where the two suspects bailed out. The driver was taken into custody, a second suspect was captured later and a warrant has been obtained for the third man involved.

The men admitted stealing two trailers and four commercial grade lawn mowers today from SCTI valued at $45,000.

47-year-old Sammy Balsinger of Bradenton has been charged with Grand Theft, Aggravated Fleeing to Elude, Driving with a Suspended License and Aggravated Battery on an Officer for intentionally crashing into a deputy’s vehicle. The deputy was not seriously injured.

42-year-old Travor Henson of Bradenton has been charged with Grand Theft.

The investigation is continuing and additional charges are pending, both in Sarasota County and in Manatee County.