John Deere lawn mowers were the subject of a recent bust made by authorities in an investigation that involved a number of states.
In all, $250,000 worth of stolen equipment, including items taken from John Deere dealers, was found in the possession of two men. Homer Hess, 40, and Devon Lipson, 18, were arrested by the Louisiana State Police after the agency set up a meeting with Hess. Both have been charged with possession of stolen property.
A third man, Steve Ginter, was arrested by the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation and accused of being the ringleader for the theft ring. Investigators nabbed Ginter after being led to Jackson, Mississippi, following interviews with Hess and Lipson.
The investigation started with a report from the Mississippi Agricultural Theft Bureau, which told state police in Louisiana there was a possibility that the stolen equipment was on its way there. A John Deere tractor was also stolen from Arkansas and was allegedly in Hess' and Lipson's possession.
According to the National Equipment Register, there are a number of things people can do to protect their tractors and farm equipment. Along with keeping a detailed record of equipment, people should make sure to immobilize their machinery, which might include removing batteries or taking hitches off of trailers.