The York landscaper whose truck was stolen last week in a crime spree by an ex-con who led officers on a manhunt, had one last dealing with police Wednesday morning – and this time it was the landscaper who was surrounded by cops.
Eddie Nivens, owner of Cutting Edge Lawn and Landscaping, was pulled over after dropping his son at school in York because his truck – stolen last week, then returned to him after police recovered it – had not been taken out of a national crime database for stolen vehicles. Nivens was surrounded by several police cars and officers because the truck was wanted and the thief believed to be armed and dangerous.
“I had nothing but bad luck for a week,” Nivens said, “and then this morning it just got worse.”
After calling authorities in Lancaster County, where the truck was stolen May 12, officers learned that the driver Wednesday was Nivens, the original crime victim and truck owner.
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The man who police say stole the truck last week, Shannon Layne Myers, 42, of Lancaster County, is in jail in Alabama after the Heflin police chief caught him Friday. Myers and his girlfriend fought with officers, police say, injuring two of them. Myers escaped that encounter with police, then was captured after a two-state manhunt. He is suspected of crimes in South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and Alabama.
Lancaster sheriff’s office spokesman Doug Barfield said there is a process for taking stolen items off the national list, and the office would make sure that was done after Wednesday’s mix-up.
The officers who pulled over Nivens at first were stern but courteous, Nivens said, because they didn’t know the truck had been returned. He was treated properly the whole time, he said, and the officers apologized afterward.
York Police Chief Andy Robinson said he and a few of the officers involved had read about Nivens being a victim of the crimes in The Herald. He is proud of his officers for handling the situation with professionalism, Robinson said, and he appreciates Nivens’ understanding.
Nivens said he appreciates what police have done for him the past week as a crime victim, as well as those he encountered Wednesday.
“The officers were very polite and apologized for any inconvenience,” Nivens said. “But all I know now is that when you are a crime victim, it really messes up your life. You never know what might happen to you next. For me, it was about 10 cop cars around me.”
Andrew Dys • 803-329-4065