Upshur County officials urge owners to lock up tractors, equipme - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Upshur County officials urge owners to lock up tractors, equipment to avoid theft

One of the recovered tractors (Source: KLTV News Staff) One of the recovered tractors (Source: KLTV News Staff)

Upshur County sheriff's officials announced that tens of thousands of dollars in farm equipment and recreational vehicles were recovered.

Last Tuesday, Upshur County investigators say large items such as recreational vehicles and machinery were stolen from rural areas.
"It happens a lot more than most people think it does. With this case I want to say it's a little more organized than normal. This is something, more than likely, they've been doing for a while," says Upshur county sheriff Larry Webb.

"You have what is often expensive equipment that is in places like pastures and fields, people are seeing them, and finding ways to steal them," says Upshur County Chief Sheriff's Deputy David Hazel.

Investigators got a break when a citizen shopping online for heavy equipment spotted something out of place. A ridiculously low price.

"The people who take things like this want to get rid of it quick, and whatever profit they make is 100 percent. If it's too good to be true, nine times
out of ten, it is. It made us aware of what they had seen; we started investigating which led to the discovery of the items that were being stolen," Webb says.
  At an undisclosed location, deputies found around $30,000 worth of stolen vehicles and machinery.
"If they can find a buyer, a thief will deliver," Hazel says.

Recovered were a tractor, a welding rig and trailer, two recreational vehicles, and other items.

"The individual who was buying, was good enough to provide a trailer to return the items to its owner," says Hazel.

Investigators say those that have farm equipment or recreational vehicles should take a simple step to protect them: lock them up.

"Whatever steps that can be taken to protect these items in a safe place is really important," Webb says.

Investigators with the Upshur County Sheriff’s Office say they are still searching for several items that are still missing. No suspects have been identified yet.
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