A 42-year-old Campbell man is being held in Hopkins County jail in lieu of $2,000 bond on a misdemeanor charge of tampering with identification numbers on personal property and is under investigation in connection with the theft of a quantity of farm equipment. Two trailers, a tractor and other agriculture-related equipment were discovered behind a residence on Mahoney Road overnight, and Hopkins County Sheriff's Chief Investigator Lewis Tatum said the circumstances are a bit strange. “I got a call last night from a very reliable source that said he had come home and found a couple of trailers and some farm equipment on his property and was very concerned about it,” Tatum said. “I went to his location and found two Big Tex flat bed trailers, a four-wheel drive tractor with a shredder and more haying equipment.” Officers ran the identification numbers from trailers and were able to locate the name of the owner of one of the trailers. The owner lives in Copper Canyon in Denton County. “We contacted him and he said the items had been taken from property in Hunt County and he had filed a report in Hunt County,” the investigator said. “He did not have the serial numbers but identified what we had recovered. “He stated a subject had removed these items from his farm in Hunt County claiming [victim] owed him some money and took his items,” Tatum continued. “I guess one place he was going to hide them was over here.” The equipment was seized and brought to the sheriff's department while Tatum was waiting to talk to Hunt County officers. “We're waiting right now to talk to Investigator Kenneth Peters with Hunt County Sheriff's Office to see exactly where we are going to go from here,” Tatum said. “It is a case that has actually been filed in Hunt County, and it was just lucky we found them over here.” Tatum said the informant at first did not know who put the equipment on his property. But, after checking, the informant did know the suspect but he did not give permission for him to put the equipment behind his house. “I figure [the suspect] knew the gentleman was out of town and just kind of took advantage of the situation and placed them there,” Tatum said. After the property was recovered, deputies stopped the suspect for a traffic violation and found him to be in possession of a laptop computer which the serial numbers had been taken off. “He was arrested for that offense,” Tatum said. “Currently, we are in the process of getting that computer analyzed and find the real serial number and who really owns it and see if it is actually stolen.” The chief investigator said he did not know at this time whether charges would be filed in Hunt, Hopkins or both counties.
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