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Stolen tractor found at bottom of manure pile

A pile of poo wasn’t enough to conceal the crime, and now a pair of suspects charged with stealing a tractor worth $300,000 off a dealership lot near Stonewall are finding themselves in deep doo-doo.

Acting on a Crime Stoppers tip, RCMP recovered the 2009 Case IH Steiger 485 last week underneath an enormous pile of manure on a farm property southwest of Fisher Branch.

Armed with a search warrant, RCMP investigators hired an excavator to dig out the tractor, which had been reported stolen under the cover of night in 2010 from a business in the RM of Rosser.

RCMP Sgt. Lin Karpish couldn’t say how long the tractor had been buried in the 12- to 15-foot-deep manure pack, or what condition it might be in, other than the obvious fact that it probably doesn’t smell very sweet anymore.

“I’m sure nobody is going to be riding that tractor any time soon,” said Karpish. “I’m not sure what the insurance company will do with it. Can you clean these things?”

She added that it is still unclear whether the thieves had “been spooked” after the crime and decided to bury the tractor “to make it disappear” permanently, or had simply hoped to keep the machine out of sight until the heat died down.

One thing’s certain, that in her 28 years in policing, this case is a “first,” and that there have been more than a few chuckles around the division.

“I mean it’s not like you can hide a Case tractor in your back pocket or in the shed,” said Karpish. “It was quite the job to get it out.”

A 24-year-old man of the RM of Fisher has been arrested and released on promise to appear in Peguis Provincial Court in July on theft charges.

A 22-year-old female also of the RM of Fisher was also arrested and charged for possession of stolen property. The investigation continues.

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