Grand Meadow man accused of stealing farm equipment
By Tim Ruzek
The Post-Bulletin, Austin MN
A Grand Meadow man returned to court Thursday for allegedly stealing two pieces of farming equipment this month from a Racine auction company that he disliked.
Anthony Orrin Bell, 63, pleaded not guilty Thursday morning in Mower District Court to a single felony count of theft. Bell initially appeared April 12 in Mower District Court on the matter following his arrest.
According to the criminal complaint, the owner of Suess Auctions called authorities April 8 to report the theft of an 18-foot tillage disc, worth $1,500, and a $1,000 used baler.
During questioning April 9, Bell eventually admitted to authorities that he took the two pieces of equipment not for money but because he had "bad blood" with the auction company's owners, the complaint says.
A deputy had investigated a report the previous night about a suspicious pickup truck near the auction business.
Later on April 8, LeRoy Iron & Metal contacted authorities about Bell taking the baler to sell as scraps, the complaint says. Bell allegedly left the baler outside the scrap yard, saying he needed to get one more item to scrap.
Spray paint had been used on the baler to try to cover a lot number from the auction company.
Bell allegedly said he took the disc to a site northwest of Grand Meadow and cut it apart with an acetylene torch.
Authorities located the disc, which was cut apart, on 730th Avenue.
Bell is slated for a pretrial hearing June 25.