AVOCA — A Bath-based New York State Trooper happened upon the scene of a crime in progress in the Town of Avoca on Friday night.
While on routine patrol on Route 415 in Avoca, Trooper Tabiha Mayhew discovered broken glass and other debris that included a large tractor tire in the roadway.
When she stopped to investigate, Mayhew located a John Deere Tractor and hay baler nearby, both of which had suffered extensive damage.
Edward R. Learn, 37, of County Route 105 in Avoca was also found in the proximity of the scene, and was taken into custody.
While being taken into custody, Learn resisted arrest and caused damage to Trooper. Mayhew’s patrol car. According to police, Learn did both interior and exterior damage to the vehicle, which included dents and body damage. on the inside, damage was done to the door frame.
Upon further investigation it was determined that the farm implements were allegedly stolen, and driven along the highway until a tire split. Learn, the suspected driver, allegedly continued to drive on the rim for some distance.
The tractor and hay baler went missing from the Village of Avoca earlier in the night, and the escape route took Learn through the lawn of a private residence on the Owens Rd., resulting in extensive damage to the property, police say.Learn who connected to a breath test, reportedly blew a .15, nearly twice the .08 percent legal limit.
Even in its used condition the tractor was valued at $125,000. The hay baler was valued at $40,000.
As a result, Learn was arrested and charged with second-degree grand larceny, a class-C felony (for the theft of the tractor and baler); Driving while intoxicated and driving with a blood alcohol content greater than .08 percent; third-degree criminal mischief, a class-E felony; resisting arrest; and unlawful possession of marijuana.
Learn was arraigned before Town of Avoca Justice Pat McMahon and remanded to the Steuben Co. Jail in lieu of $15,000 cash bail or $30,000 property bond. Investigation into the damage done to the tractor, baler and lawn in ongoing, and additional charges are pending.