Stolen skid steer tracked to Hialeah

OKEECHOBEE — On the morning of Tuesday, May 8, the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office received a call about a skid steer stolen from a vacant lot.

According to an incident report by Deputy Bryan Holden, at 7:18 a.m. on May 8, he responded to the corner of Northwest 144th Street and U.S. 441 North in regards to a theft complaint.

Deputy Holden reportedly met with the complainant from Ranger Construction Industries, Inc. who informed him that a yellow and black 2016 Caterpillar 272D rubber tire skid steer they rented from Kelly Tractor Co. had seemingly been unhooked from the asphalt grinder and was missing when they showed up for work. The complainant told Deputy Holden that after work all the equipment was parked on the vacant lot where the deputy met with him.

Deputy Holden then reported that according to the complainant the skid steer was fitted with a global positioning system (GPS) tracker and appeared to be parked in the 3500 block of West 36th Avenue in Hialeah Gardens. The complainant additionally informed Deputy Holden that the last piece of equipment stolen from them also was fitted with a GPS tracker and was tracked to the same address as this one.

The report continued that the skid steer was apparently either hot wired or the individual(s) who removed it was/were in possession of a Caterpillar key and loaded it onto a trailer. In the process of removing it from the vacant lot, it appeared to Deputy Holden that a 2016 Massey Ferguson 4607M tractor was moved out of the way and ended up with a flat front-right tire. Due to the construction crew driving equipment on the scene prior to his arrival, no footprints or tire tracks were located at the scene.

The report concluded that dispatch made contact with Hialeah Police Department (HPD) and requested them to respond to the address of the GPS tracker in regards to the stolen skid steer. HPD was unable to locate the subject skid steer at the time of the report’s generation. Photographs of the scene were taken and placed into evidence.

The report states that due to lack of evidence and suspect information, the case is considered inactive. The stolen skid steer and flat tire repair were valued at a total of $76,230.

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