4:26AM- Farmer John wakes up. Something doesn't seem right.
4:29 AM- Sheriff's Department receives a call. "I am the newspaper delivery person and something seems suspicious here. I think there is a theft in progress."
Soon after- Sheriff appears at my in-laws house (next door to us) asking if someone could come with him to check out our field irrigator. There is a wheel in the road and others are missing he says.
Shortly after- Farmer John gets a call from my mother-in-law. John is out the door in less than 30 seconds.
Three of the tires were removed from our irrigator. Each tire and wheel weighing between 250-300 pounds. The first tire was found in the ditch along the road. Another was on the road, and a third was found across the road on the golf course. All this activity within a half mile of our front door.
Since the tires were all found, the investigation has turned from theft to vandalism. It is unlikely that the "culprits" will be found, but we are extremely grateful to the newspaper delivery person who had the foresight to report something that looked unusual. Had the call not been made, the tires would have surely been gone.
The irrigation company arrived mid-day to reattach the tires, tighten bolts that were loosened on the next tire the thieves attempted to remove, and gave a thorough look-see at everything else on the irrigator. We were told that each tire and wheel would have been about $800 to replace if they were not found. ($800 x 3 = a lot!)
We all agree that "It could have been worse," but it is frustrating to have to put time and money into something that should not have happened.
But there is a bright side to our story...there are still good, honest people in the world. The newspaper delivery person proved that!
Sadly, this is not the first "attack" on this irrigator.