Stolen heavy equipment found - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Stolen heavy equipment found

November 16, 2006

Colquitt County-- The month of November has been a busy one for the Colquitt County Sheriff's Office.  Deputies found two dozen pieces of stolen heavy equipment including three new Kubota tractors, several John Deere tractors, and other various stolen items that turned up in Colquitt County, but why?

"We are still investigating as to why it ended up here, the area we found it in was we believe in a good area, it was off in a shelter in a wooded area. Not a lot of traffic, you just would not think twice about seeing it" said Rod Howell a Colquitt County Investigator.

Tracing the stolen equipment at first was difficult, since the vehicle identification numbers had  been tampered with, but investigators now have identified almost all of the equipment.

 "Thanks to an agency called the National Crime Information Center, who sent an agent from the Atlanta bureau that spent most of the day with me, he was able to find hidden numbers from plates that have been removed and they have a national data base that tells them who owned it and it was just a matter then of going back and tracking down who the original owner was" said Colquitt County Investigator Rod Howell.

A suspect in the case forty-three year old Steve Deputy of Vero Beach, Florida is currently being held in South Florida after a gas drive-off arrest, and now awaits extradition to Colquitt County to face charges.

"There will be three charges, theft by receiving stolen property, theft by bringing stolen property into the state and a chop shop law where you alter, change, or remove a VIN number" said Howell. 

Hopefully closure to a case involving big stolen property with a big price tag.

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