Stolen equipment abandoned, thieves unable to work it


Reporter- Lauren Adams
Photojournalist - Chad Darnall

GRAVES COUNTY, KY- Shawn Kelly has spent the past several years living in the small community of Lowes.



"It's pretty quiet, peaceful in this little town," he said Wednesday morning.

But just hours earlier, that normal silence was pierced by the humming of a diesel engine. A truck was sitting atop and barely hanging on to the grassy edge of his property.

"Just a little bit more and they could have been off the side of the hill there," he observed.

The Volvo semi carrying a front end loader had been taken from Crop Production Services, just a few miles down the road in Fancy Farm. An employee had first reported it missing when he arrived to work around 8 a.m.

The crime, investigators say, was easy.

"The way they found the keys in the vehicle like that, this was a crime of opportunity," Kentucky State Police Trooper Jay Thomas said.

But, executing it was the tough part.  The thieves, unable to drive the vehicles they had stolen, ended up wrecking or abandoning them.

The one in Shawn Kelly's front yard was left directly in the middle of KY 339, with the flashers on. 

That scene was repeated throughout the county as staff from Crop Production Services located more abandoned equipment on their way to other jobs.

A fertilizer truck and another Volvo semi was driven into the ground on General Street, behind the Old General Tire Plant.  A two ton flatbed truck was recovered on Sophia Street in Hickory.

"It is a good day when we recover this, but it'll be a better day when we apprehended the individuals responsible," Trooper Thomas said.

Investigators are still looking for a white F-250 pickup truck. Anyone with information is asked to call Kentucky State Police.

Crop Production Services tells Local 6 they will be locking up all keys from now on, as well as installing surveillance cameras and a gate around the property.