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Suspects stalled by flat tires

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Two men suspected of stealing power tools from a Southern California Home Depot were arrested on Aug. 20 after their getaway vehicle developed two flat tires.

Deputies from the Victorville Police Station, summoned by store personnel, arrived at the Home Depot on Bear Valley Road shortly before noon to find a black SUV leaving the scene. One suspect attempted to drive the car, which had two flat tires, along an adjoining road but soon fled the vehicle on foot. He was arrested by sheriff deputies.

Asecond suspect was detained in the parking lot of the store.

Inside the SUV, law enforcement officers found electric drills valued at more than $2,000 that had been allegedly stolen earlier that day at another Home Depot store in Victorville.

Arrested for commercial burglary were Jose Munoz, 34, and Rolando Martinez, 39, both from Los Angeles. The suspects are known gang members, according to authorities.

Karen Hunt, a spokeswoman for the Victorville Sheriff’s Department, told Home Channel News that the commercial burglary charges stem from the suspects’ “intent to steal,” as opposed to “spur of the moment” shoplifting. As for the flat tires, “They tried to drive over an embankment in order to get away the deputies and loss prevention [personnel],” Hunt said.

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Deere sells wind energy business

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Moline, Ill.-based Deere & Co. has signed an agreement to sell John Deere Renewables, its wind energy business, to Exelon Generation Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of Exelon Corp. Deere expects the transaction will close in 2010.

John Deere Renewables includes 36 completed projects in eight states with an operational capacity of 735 megawatts. The agreement includes the completed projects plus others in development.

“As Deere sharpens its own strategic focus, we have concluded that the company’s resources are best invested in growing our core equipment businesses around the world,” said Samuel R. Allen, Deere & Co. chairman and CEO. “We have chosen to place the wind portfolio with Exelon in part due to its demonstrated leadership in the energy industry.”

Deere said the $900 million sale, including earn-out provisions, will result in an after-tax charge of about $25 million in its fourth-quarter results.

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Consumer Confidence bounces slightly in August

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The Consumer Confidence Index increased slightly to 53.5 in August, up from 51.0 in July, but down from 54.1 in August 2009.

The Conference Board’s index (1985=100) increased with the short-term outlook, according to director Lynn Franco. “Consumers’ assessment of current conditions, however, was less favorable as employment concerns continue to weigh heavily on consumers’ attitudes. Expectations about future business and labor market conditions have brightened somewhat, but overall, consumers remain apprehensive about the future.  All in all, consumers are about as confident today as they were a year ago.”   

The Present Situation Index decreased to 24.9 from 26.4. The Expectations Index increased to 72.5 from 67.5 last month.

Consumers were also less pessimistic about future job prospects. Those expecting more jobs in the months ahead increased to 14.6% from 14.2%, while those anticipating fewer jobs decreased to 19.4% from 20.9%. The proportion of consumers expecting an increase in their incomes held steady at 10.6%.

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