Tractor and 18-wheeler taken for joy ride, culprit behind bars

Jonathan Gustafson (Source: Lawrence County Sheriff's Department)
Jonathan Gustafson (Source: Lawrence County Sheriff's Department)

LAWRENCE COUNTY, AR (KAIT) – Police say 26-year-old Jonathan Gustafson of Portia was arrested for theft of property and criminal mischief after taking and 18-wheeler and a tractor for a joy ride.

According to investigating officers, the 18-wheeler was stolen from Hoxie in the middle of the night, and was abandoned at a farm shop in Clover Bend when the truck's tires blew out. Police say Gustafson didn't know how to release the trailer brakes; he left them locked and caused not only the tires to blow out, but also damaged the brakes.

Once the truck was damaged and undividable, police say Gustafson then took a John Deere Model 9400 tractor which was later found hidden in a wood line near Portia.

During investigation, police were led to Gustafson whom they tracked and found hiding in an attic at a house in Portia.  Officers say Gustafson admitted to taking both the 18-wheeler and tractor.

Gustafson was arrested and taken to the Lawrence County Jail to await a bond hearing where bond was set at $50,000. He is expected in Circuit Court on June 29.

Gustafson was out on bond already for a burglary and theft charge from two weeks ago. The bond was revoked.

The tractor is valued at $80,000 and damage to the 18-wheeler is an estimated $6,000.

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