Teen arrested for stealing county equipment

CHEROKEE COUNTY (KYTX)- On Monday August 4, at approximately 8:30 a.m. the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office took a report of stolen equipment belonging to Cherokee County Precinct 3 Road and Bridge Department.

Precinct 3 Commissioner Katherine Pinotti stated that a 2010 Massey Ferguson tractor with a Caterpillar boom-ax had been left at a work area near Bullard. The tractor had been left at the intersection of FM-2137 and CR-3602 after work on Wednesday July 30. The estimated value of the equipment was over $100,000.

On Thursday August 7, Detectives Joey Ray and Jonathan Hughes received word that the tractor had been located inside the LakeWood East Subdivision (Lake Palestine) off FM-346. The tractor had been abandoned near the back of the property in a heavily wooded area.

Over the next few days information began coming in, and one resident of the subdivision reported that she had seen the tractor driving through a field near the swimming pool Friday night around midnight, but it was too dark to see who was in the cab. Surveillance video at the LakeWood Subdivision also gave Detectives important leads to follow.

By Sunday August 10, Detectives had gathered reliable information on possible suspects and began interviewing those individuals and other witnesses. One of the suspects, Erin Lacy Lee, 17, of Bullard was interviewed as were two juveniles, ages 15 and 16.

During the interview with Lee, she admitted responsibility for the theft of the equipment and subsequent "Joy Riding".

On Monday August 11, 2014 an arrest warrant was issued for Lee by Justice of the Peace (Precinct 1) Judge Brenda Dominy. Lee was arrested at a residence on FM-2137 located less than a tenth of a mile from where the tractor had originally been parked.

She was charged with theft of property, greater than $100,000 but less than $200,000.

The charge is a second degree felony. Her bond was set at $25,000 by Justice of the Peace (Precinct 2) Judge Tony Johnson.


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