An observant county resident and quick response on the part of Hopkins County Sheriff’s deputies and Texas Department of Public Safety troopers resulted in a felony arrest and recovery of a hay baler stolen less than 30 minutes before and a trailer stolen two months ago.
Sheriff’s dispatcher received a call at 4:57 p.m. from someone reporting a man in a silver Dodge dual-axle pickup removing a hay baler from property without permission. Deputy Koby Hume and DPS Troopers Aaron Hanna and Ryan Hailey responded in the area, along with HCSO Sgt. Corley Weatherford, Deputy Kelly Wiser and Chief Investigator Lewis Tatum.
Hume spotted a silver Dodge 3500 dually pulling a Case square baler on County Road 2300 at 5:25 p.m. The deputy, assisted by the troopers, stopped the truck at the intersection of CR 2300 and CR 2301, about 8 to 10 miles from the location in which the hay baler had been reported stolen, for further investigation. The driver was identified as 30-year-old Kellen Warren Tramel of Sulphur Springs.
Tatum arrived in the area and talked to both the reporting party and Tramel. The baler was confirmed to be the one seen being removed without the owner’s permission from County Road 1436 just before 5 p.m.
Meanwhile, Weatherford and Wiser located two men nearby with a gooseneck trailer loaded down with over 100 square bales of hay on it. When the deputies confirmed the trailer was a Sure Pull, Tatum noted one had been stolen two months before from a local veterinarian. A records check confirmed the trailer to be the one stolen from the vet.
The baler, truck and trailer full of hay were taken to the sheriff’s office for processing and safe keeping until they can be returned to their owners. At 6 p.m. Tramel was in custody for theft of property valued at more than $20,000 but less than $100,000. The baler is valued at $30,000 and the trailer about $5,000.
Tatum said the investigation is ongoing. Investigators intend to talk to the two other people connected to the trailer, and could at a later time possibly seek warrants for their arrest in connection with the theft. He also said it’s unclear at this time the value of the hay on the trailer and if the hay bales were stolen or just on a stolen trailer.
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