Sheriff's department recovers farm machinery

Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Equipment recovered Democrat Photo/Lindsay Reed Barry County Detective Doug Henry, left, and Sheriff Mick Epperly, right, are pictured with some of the recovered farm equipment that was stolen from areas of Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Georgia. Henry spearheaded the investigation, utilizing both the Missouri State Highway Patrol Rural Crimes Task Force and Leads On-Line software.

Barry County Sheriff Mick Epperly announced the recovery of several items of farm machinery that were stolen from southwest Missouri, Oklahoma, Georgia and Arkansas over the summer, and a man from Berryville, Ark., has admitted to the thefts.

According to Epperly, Detective Doug Henry has spearheaded the investigation, recovering a large amount of stolen property. In July, Henry recovered a John Deere 850D Gator, stolen out of Oklahoma. The Gator was found at a residence in Barry County, and that find led to more leads.

Henry, working with the Missouri State Highway Patrol Rural Crimes Task Forc and Leads On-line software, also recovered stolen farm machinery, tractors, a lawn mower, a four-wheeler and a generator from locations in Barry County and in Arkansas.

Henry located several pieces of farm equipment at a farm in Seligman.

"Some of the equipment was stolen out of Barry County, while others were stolen from Benton County, Ark., Oklahoma and Marietta, Ga.," Epperly said. "Before the equipment could be seized, three pieces were moved to other locations."

A John Deere baler was recovered in Benton County, Ark., and a John Deere four-by-four, stolen from Joplin, was recovered at another residence in Barry County. Attached to the baler was a front loader bucket, stolen from Marietta, Ga.

A four-by-four front-end loader, valued at $50,000, stolen from Benton County, Ark., and a Montana tractor, valued at $22,000, stolen from Oklahoma, were recovered at a farm in Seligman.

On Oct. 3, Epperly and Henry traveled to Boone County, Ark., to recover a stolen generator/welder with a trailer attachment, which was stolen from Wildcat Rentals in Cassville. Also recovered was a four-wheeler stolen from Hilltop in Cassville.

Epperly said James Mallett, 37, turned himself in to Carroll County, Ark., authorities for the thefts. Charges for the equipment stolen in Barry County are pending.

"Numerous cases were solved for both Boone County and Carroll County, Ark., during the interview with Mallett," Epperly said.

"I appreciate the great work done by the Rural Crimes Task Force and our detectives," Epperly said.

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