NEW VINEYARD – A local family is looking for clues after their tractor was stolen from a parking lot Wednesday.

Doug Fletcher, president of Maine Wood Turning Inc., said Friday a model 750 John Deere tractor, a Farnsgard Logging winch, and a homemade trailer were stolen from his company’s parking lot.

The trailer and winch belong to Scott and Shenny Fletcher who, like many people trying to sell vehicles, had placed them in a visible place on the side of the road. They had asked if they could use Doug Fletcher’s parking lot to do so, he said.

Sometime between 8 p.m. Tuesday at 6 a.m. Wednesday, the equipment and trailer were stolen, Fletcher said.

“Somebody backed in and drove away with it,” he said.

Deputy David Rackliffe of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department said tractor thefts are unusual.

“This is very rare around here,” he said.

It’s possible it was stolen for monetary gain, Rackliffe said, but more likely it was taken by someone who plans to use it.

“It may also be they have a need for it, and it was an easy take,” he said.

The tractor is probably being hidden somewhere, he said – in the woods or at the thief’s camp.

In a statement Friday, Doug Fletcher offered a $2,500 reward for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of the thief or thieves.

Regardless of the fact the trailer wasn’t his, he said Friday morning he is angry. “They came onto our property to steal the trailer,” he said. “Regardless, it makes you mad when people do stuff like that.”

Police estimate the value of the tractor at around $4,000, and the value of the trailer at around $2,000, Rackliffe said.

The trailer’s owners could not be located for comment Friday.

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