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Mother says daughter stole riding mower for drug money

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A Sissonville woman stole her mother's riding lawnmower and sold it for drug money, authorities allege.

Amber Harper, 29, of Plantation Road was arrested Tuesday and charged with grand larceny and transferring stolen goods.

Kanawha Deputy H. Shipman was investigating after Nola Landers reported her Husqvarna riding lawn mower stolen from her garage Wednesday afternoon. Landers told the deputy she thought her daughter and Robert Diaz, Harper's boyfriend, were the culprits, according to a criminal complaint.

Landers said Harper has a serious drug problem and Diaz is a known thief and meth user. She said both have stolen from her in the past, the complaint says.

Shipman wrote in the complaint that Diaz made comments to several people in the community that he "could take whatever he wanted" from Landers' home.

Stephen Harper, who is not related to Amber Harper, contacted Shipman Thursday. He said Harper and Diaz approached him about buying a riding lawnmower.

Harper told him she was recently divorced and no longer needed the mower. She offered it to him for $400.

He bought the mower but later returned it when he discovered it was stolen.

Amber Harper is being held at South Central Regional Jail on $15,000 bond. Diaz has not been charged. 


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