With assistance from the Houston County Sheriff's Office, Anderson County deputies were able to recover a stolen tractor Thursday afternoon — less than a week after arresting a suspect for the crime.
The tractor, a 2005 Massey-Ferguson model valued at $12,000, was reported missing from a residence in the 6,000 block of FM 322 on Feb. 25.
“It was found abandoned at the dead end of a county road in the Latexo area of Houston County,” Anderson County Sheriff Greg Taylor said. “It was recovered fully intact and has been returned to the owner.”
Suspect Brandon Lee Lively, 26, of Palestine, was arrested on an unauthorized use of a vehicle warrant on Friday, March 14 at a Palestine residence and later charged for theft of property, identity theft and other related crimes.
For the tractor theft, Lively was charged with theft of property- $1,500 to $20,000, with a $45,000 bond set. Other charges include: unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, $45,000 bond; outstanding warrant for tampering fabrication of physical evidence (from a case in 2013), no bond; and fraudulent use/possession of identifying information, $20,000 bond.
Lively was arrested after a three-week investigation that began with the theft of a 1986 blue GMC pickup, reported stolen from a residence on the 13,000 block of FM 645 on Feb. 22. The stolen truck had been recovered as of Monday, according to the sheriff.
Investigator Ryan Tolliver developed Lively as a suspect in that case, with investigator Brian Chason developing Lively as a suspect in the tractor theft case. ACSO investigators Chason and Lee Duran worked the recovery of the stolen tractor.
During a subsequent search of Lively's person, officers found numerous amount of blank checks, credit cards and other identifying information using the name of the tractor theft victim.
According to Taylor, Lively remained in jail on Thursday afternoon.
“He has been a very busy young man — doing a lot of stealing, and we are glad to have him off the streets,” Taylor said previously. “The deputies and investigators did a good job gathering the evidence needed to close this case.”