Following a combined operation that included a K9 unit working with helicopter support, Sarasota County Sheriff’s deputies located a stolen tractor valued at $82,000 in a Sarasota man's backyard.
James Trippe, 31, was arrested for grand theft after deputies tracked a Lojack alert ping to his home off Whidden Road in Sarasota. A K9 unit and Air-1, the Sheriff’s Office helicopter, worked together to locate the equipment at the listed address.
Deputies said Trippe claimed he didn’t have a tractor on his property, but eventually consented to a search that located the stolen vehicle, which was partially covered by a tarp on his property.
The tractor, equipped with a backhoe and front loader, was stolen from Hillsborough County on Oct. 18 near I-4 and US 301. Deputies contacted its owner who recovered the tractor last night.
Trippe was released on $7,500 bond this morning. The investigation is continuing.
Contact Nolan Peterson at [email protected]