Parrish thief wreaks havoc with tractor


PARRISH -- Authorities think a lone suspect used a tractor to steal items from a home in the 34000 block of State Road 62 in Parrish.

The incident occurred between 5:30 p.m. March 21 and 8 a.m. on March 22, according to a Manatee County Sheriff's Office report.

The suspect entered the fenced property of orange-producer Tri-Britton, Inc. and headed to where a vacant home and pole barn were located at the center of the property, the report states.

The suspect removed a chain saw and an old metal foot locker full of miscellaneous tools from the pole barn, according to the report.

In an unsuccessful effort to steal a tractor, the suspect broke the steering column, damaging the machinery valued at approximately $50,000, the report states.

The suspect did manage to start a bigger tractor, valued at approximately $110,000 with a disc plow attachment, according to the report.

The suspect drove this tractor to another farm south of Tri-Britton and committed another burglary, deputies believe.

The suspect then drove back to Tri-Britton, allegedly to load up the chain saw and foot locker along with other items, the report states.

During this return trip, the suspect ran over five orange trees and destroyed an undetermined amount of water piping for trees in the grove, according to the report.

The big tractor completely destroyed the gate to the farm and, during this time, extensive damage was also done to the underside of the tractor and disc plow, the report adds.

The suspect continued north through the grove and parked the tractor at the edge of the grove near the 34,500 block of S.R. 62, where the tractor was unloaded of items taken from both crime scenes, according to the report.

From shoe prints left at the scene, the suspect apparently had either parked a vehicle on the side of S.R. 62 or had someone pick him up near where he parked the tractor, the report states.

The unknown suspect got away with the items taken, leaving the damaged and stolen tractor behind, the report concludes.

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