While many residents were still sleeping this morning (around 5 a.m.), two Gator all-terrain utility vehicles were being stolen from the local John Deere dealership in Batesville.
In the official report, Independence County Sheriff’s Deputy Logan Weller said he was leaving Hawg’s Exxon when an incoming customer told him that he just witnessed a John Deere Gator leave Greenway Equipment on White Drive by going around the gate, without headlights on, and head toward East Main on White Drive.
Weller stated he caught up with not just one, but two of the vehicles at Miller Creek Road and Mack Street. Weller said one driver of the Gators was attempting to flee the scene and refusing to stop. He said the driving was radical, many times in the middle of the road and then into the ditch line.
Weller pursued that Gator and said the driver used several different turnoffs and roads to avoid capture, finally getting to Huddleston Park in Sulphur Rock. It was there that the vehicle crossed a steep ditch and was able to elude Weller and other pursuing deputies. Officers checked the entire Sulphur Rock area, but were unable to locate the driver and the Gator.
Meanwhile, Batesville Police Department officers found the second Gator, abandoned and stuck in the mud on Miller Creek Road.
Detective Fred Friar said the two vehicles are valued at just over $53,000, making their thefts a felony.
Friar said video footage was obtained, and the case is under active investigation.
This wasn’t the only utility vehicle theft in recent days. Click here for another story regarding the theft of an Intimidator.
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