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Archive for Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Two suspects charged with attempted theft of tractors

January 13, 2004

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Two men were charged Monday in Douglas County District Court with attempting to steal tractors early Saturday from a Baldwin business.

Daniel W. Crowder, 58, Smithton, Mo., and John H. Stone, 33, Kansas City, Mo., were among four suspects arrested after Baldwin Police were sent to check on reports of suspicious activity at Heritage Tractor, 915 Industrial Park Road.

Crowder and Stone each were charged with one count of attempted theft and one count of misdemeanor criminal damage to property.

The charges allege the two were attempting to steal two John Deere lawn and garden tractors. Two tractors also were damaged during the incident. If convicted of attempted theft charges, the men could face sentences of up to 13 months in prison and be ordered to pay a fine. A conviction for misdemeanor criminal damage could mean a six-month jail sentence and a fine.

In addition, Missouri authorities want to extradite Stone on a warrant for a state parole violation.

Judge Pro Tem Peggy Kittel set a $3,000 bond for Crowder and ordered him to appear at 2 p.m. today in court for scheduling of a preliminary hearing.

Kittel set Stone's bond at $10,000 for the Douglas County charges and another $10,000 for the Missouri warrant. He also was ordered to appear today in court for scheduling a preliminary hearing.

After arriving at Heritage Tractor, police discovered two tractors loaded onto a truck. They also stopped a van on U.S. Highway 56 east of the business as it attempted to leave the area.

Two of the men were arrested after the van was stopped, and three men fled on foot. Two of them were later arrested after a search that involved several law enforcement agencies.

Charges are pending against two other suspects, a 52-year-old Independence, Mo., man and a 30-year-old Kansas City, Mo., man. They were released Monday from the Douglas County Jail on $20,000 each but ordered to appear later this month in court for possible charges.

The fifth suspect was arrested Monday morning when he went to the Baldwin Police Department to ask about his truck. He was being held in jail pending charges.

The truck, which had been linked to the Heritage Tractor escapade, had been found over the weekend abandoned in Wellsville. It was impounded by police, Baldwin Chief Mike McKenna said.

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