|Two held in stolen trailer case possible suspects in theft at Farm Country|
|Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor|
Two Texarkana men were being held at the county jail after being caught early this morning with a stolen trailer, and are also being held for questioning as possible suspects in connection with an overnight theft at Farm County.
Sulphur Springs Police Patrol Officers Chris Rosamond and Rojelio Reyes Jr., with assistance from Sgt. Jason Ricketson, were credited with the arrests.
Rosamond first saw two Kubota lawn tractors, valued at a total of $1,900, in the field beside Bailey's Tractor on West Industrial Drive around 1:30 this morning. The officer, suspecting the tractors had been stolen from one of the nearby farm equipment stores, waited nearby, watching the lawn tractors in "an attempt to catch a possible suspect coming back to get them," according to Monty Tipps, investigator for Sulphur Springs Police Department.
Upon seeing "one person go back to get the tractor," Rosamond approached the area, but was unable to locate anyone due to the dark, foggy weather.
The mowers were recovered and determined to have been stolen from Farm Country, located next door to Bailey's Tractor. The business owner was contacted. The tractors were returned to him after he identified them as being part of store merchandise, according to Tipps.
About an hour later, Reyes saw two men back up a white truck and trailer and park it beside an apartment building next to the League Street E-Z Mart. Aware of the lawn tractor thefts and due to the fact that it was the middle of the night, Reyes became suspicious of the pair of men. He conducted a search of the Ford F250, recovering some items "believed to be connected to [the tractor] theft," Tipps said.
A routine check using the vehicle and trailer identification numbers showed the trailer to have been stolen from a Bowie County school district. While speaking with the driver, age 51, and passenger, 56, police received conflicting stories from the Texarkana, Ark., men when speaking with them. The pair was taken in custody for the theft of the trailer, a felony offense.
Police later contacted Texas Department of Public Safety Auto Theft Task Force, to assist in the case. Officials had begun interviewing the two pair, whose names had not been released because they had yet to be arraigned at noon.
Further charges for the tractor thefts are pending, the results of the interviews. Officers are following up on leads and information to determine whether the pair had any connected to other similar recent thefts in the area and whether other people were involved. Any further charges or arrest will depend on the outcome of the investigation.