Neighbor stops suspects from stealing tractor

Neighbor stops suspects from stealing tractor
Henry Ray Nelson, Jr. (Source: Craighead Co. Sheriff's Office)
Joshua Donald Stallings (Source: Craighead Co. Sheriff's Office)
Joshua Donald Stallings (Source: Craighead Co. Sheriff's Office)

CRAIGHEAD COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - A Craighead County farmer can thank an eagle-eyed neighbor for stopping two men suspected of stealing his tractor.

Sheriff's Deputy Mike Lawrence was called Thursday, April 19, to County Road 189 regarding an attempted theft.

The caller, who is friends with the owner of the property, told the deputy he was driving past the residence when he saw two white males driving a green Chevy flatbed truck trying to load an Allis-Chalmers WD.

The man pulled into the driveway and told the men, later identified in court documents as Henry Nelson, Jr. and Joshua Stallings, to leave the property.

He then followed the pair until Arkansas State Police could stop them.

According to the affidavit, Deputy Lawrence reported finding a Masterlock to the shed broken off the door.

"The lock was lying on the ground in front of the door and flat-head screwdriver was lying next to it," Lawrence stated. "It appeared that the screwdriver was used to break the lock."

Lawrence and other sheriff's deputies went to the traffic stop location where they learned both suspects were on probation. During a search of their vehicle, investigators found a black revolver which Stallings claimed was his.

"While speaking with Nelson he told me that a female subject told him that she owned the property and that he could take the tractor," Lawrence stated in the court documents. "Stallings advised that Nelson asked for his help in moving the tractor."

Both men were taken to the Craighead County Detention Center. On Monday they appeared before Craighead County District Judge Tommy Fowler who found probable cause to charge both men with criminal attempt to commit commercial burglary and criminal attempt to commit theft greater than $1,000 but less than $5,000. Stallings is also charged with possession of a firearm by certain persons.

Both men are being held on $25,000 cash/surety bonds each. They are due in circuit court on May 25.

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