Atascosa County Chief Deputy Sheriff David Soward reported that “good ole fashion detective work” led to the quick recovery of two pieces of heavy equipment reported stolen last Tuesday, November 8.
Soward said Sgt. John Rothenbach and Deputy Jack Bryan were dispatched to a construction site on Corgey Road east of Pleasanton early Tuesday, November 8, to make a theft report.
Workers arrived Tuesday to find a Case backhoe and a Bobcat skid-ster loader had been stolen during the night. Also missing was a 20’ Hi Rollin flatbed trailer.
Lt. Investigator Jake Guerra and Sgt. Investigator Wayne Stratton were also called out to the scene. While the investigators were working the crime scene gathering evidence, Sgt. Rothenbach and rookie Deputy Bryan put their noses to the ground.
The deputies were able to find tire tracks a few miles from the scene of the theft that matched ones found at the crime scene. The deputies painstakingly followed the tracks over 5 miles to a ranch in Atascosa County.
The deputies were joined by Sgt. Investigatgor Stratton and Sgt. Investigator Matt Miller. The officers located the ranch owner who allowed the deputies onto the property.
The backhoe and skidsteer loader valued at $50,000, were found concealed on the ranch and were recovered.
The equipment was released back to the construction company. The trailer is still missing.
Chief Soward said that Sgt. Stratton was heading up the investigation and had identified the names of some possible suspects. Soward added, “The officers working this case did an outstanding job, we’re always happy when we can recover someone’s stolen property”.