YORKVILLE — A 27-year-old Milwaukee man is facing criminal charges after he and a man who claimed to be his business partner allegedly stole dozens of pieces of landscaping equipment.

Their vehicle was pulled over on July 18 by a Racine County Sheriff’s Office deputy after it was observed slowing traffic down and driving on a nearly flat tire with its hazard lights activated in a 60 mph construction zone on Interstate 94.

Inside the vehicle, the deputy reported finding 17 chainsaws, seven weed trimmers, five leaf blowers, three hedge trimmers and 30 other tools.

Deonta Dontrell Butler is charged with three felonies: receiving stolen property and two counts of bail jumping.

His “business partner” was not named in a criminal complaint filed Thursday.

According to the criminal complaint:

After being pulled over, Butler and the other man in the vehicle reportedly told the deputy that they both were starting a landscaping business, and that was why they had so much equipment in the vehicle.

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They claimed they were on their way to Illinois for a landscaping job, but declined to answer where the job was or for whom they were working. Butler was arrested for operating without a license and bail jumping.

Upon further investigation, sheriff’s investigators found that there had been seven separate reports of theft in southeastern Wisconsin on July 17 and 18, and that each of the items stolen had reportedly been found in the vehicle Butler was driving.

The combined value of the stolen items exceeded $4,000.

Butler has prior convictions for burglary in 2013; retail theft in 2014; and receiving or concealing stolen property in 2016. He is also currently facing charges in Milwaukee County for an alleged 2017 hit-and-run causing great bodily harm and possession of a firearm by a felon in 2018.

After an initial appearance in court Thursday, during which a $10,000 cash bond was set, Butler is scheduled for a preliminary hearing at 9 a.m. on Wednesday at the Racine County Law Enforcement Center, 717 Wisconsin Ave., according to online court records.

Butler remained in custody as of Friday at the County Jail.

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