Tractor dealer’s suspicions lead officers to felony arrest, recovery of equipment

By FAITH HUFFMAN | News-Telegram News Editor

Apr. 18, 2007 - A local tractor dealer's alertness and local authorities' quick action Tuesday resulted in one felony arrest and the recovery of a round hay baler stolen  in Collin County, according to Hopkins County Sheriff Butch Adams.

Staff Photo by Angela Pitts

Hopkins County Sheriff Butch Adams, Investigator Lewis Tatum, and Northeast Texas Auto Task Force Detective Jeremy Massey with the $10,000 hay baler stolen Friday in Collin County and recovered Tuesday, thanks to sheriff's officers and a local tractor dealer. An Emory man was charged with felony theft as a result.

The tractor dealer told officers that Roger Stewart Hurst, 43, of Emory had come to the establishment to try to sell the round hay baler. The dealer became suspicious after noticing the plate with the vehicle identification number had been knocked off the equipment.

He contacted Hopkins County Sheriff's Investigator Lewis Tatum, who notified Jeremy Massey, a detective with Northeast Texas Auto Task Force. The 1993 John Deere hay baler fit the description of one reported stolen Friday night from a pasture in  Farmersville, according to Tatum.

In the meantime, Hurst returned to take the hay baler back. Hopkins County Sheriff's Cpl. Brad Horton stopped Hurst on FM 69 at County Road 3518 around 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Adams said.

The farm equipment, along with Hurst, was to the sheriff's office. The hay baler was confirmed as being the one stolen from the Farmersville pasture.

Following questioning by Tatum and Massey, Hurst was charged with felony theft at 3 p.m. Tuesday. He remained in Hopkins County jail Wednesday morning. The hay baler is being held for Collin County officials.

Adams commended the officers involved for their quick actions, as well as the observant dealer.

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