The 2012 Montana tractor was stolen from a rural Fairland property which was part of an ongoing investigation involving Travis Edward Baker, 42, of Fairland, a suspect in area burglaries.
FAIRLAND – Using the Oklahoma Highway Patrol's search aircraft, the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office was able to recover a stolen farm tractor valued at $20,000 on Friday.
The search for the tractor involved law enforcement officers from the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office the Delaware County Sheriff's Office, Fairland Police Department and the OHP.
“It was the last piece of big equipment that we were looking for,” Cook said, “We found it in the vicinity of where all the other stuff happened down south of Fairland.”
According to Ottawa County Undersheriff Dan Cook, the 2012 Montana tractor was stolen from a rural Fairland property which was part of an ongoing investigation involving Travis Edward Baker, 42, of Fairland, a suspect in area burglaries.
“It was only a couple of miles away from the actual owners of the tractor's property, near the Hickory Grove Cemetery,” Cook said. “They estimated the damages to the tractor at $3,500. It's already been returned.”
Sheriff Jeremy Floyd fatally shot the burglary suspect, Baker on Jan. 7 after he led several local law enforcement agencies on a pursuit that ended when the suspect was located and reportedly pointed a handgun at the lawman.
Earlier that same day, Baker was suspected of stealing several cars, and possibly the tractor, and breaking into homes in Ottawa County and area law enforcement officers engaged in a vehicle pursuit that ended outside of Fairland in a wooded rural area.
Per protocol, Floyd remains on paid administrative leave until an investigation is completed by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation and the findings are then reviewed by the Ottawa County District Attorney.
The investigation has yet to come to a completion, according to authorities.
Cook thanked the agencies involved in recovering the stolen tractor and other property and the OHP for their assistance with the search aircraft.
“We put in a request with OHP, for missions like this they'll do it once a month. This was at the right time, and we asked and it was available,” Cook said. “Detective (Holli) Goforth went up with them, and she's the one who actually spotted the tractor first.”
Melinda Stotts is the associate editor of the Miami News-Record. She can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org. or followed on Twitter @MelindaStotts1