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Midstate Authorities Recover $400K Worth of Stolen Equipment

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RUTHERFORD COUNTY, Tenn. - New details tonight on the recovery of $400,000 worth of machinery stolen from 5 midstate counties. The haul includes some high dollar lawn mowers, farm tractors and earth moving equipment. The suspect came clean and told investigators where everything came from. The victims include one of Rutherford County's top politicians. John Deere, Cub Cadet, Toro and Bush Hog. The brands are household names in the lawn care business. Every one of them cost somebody a small fortune.

Sheriff Robert Arnold says the equipment was taken from Rutherford, Cannon, Coffee and Williamson Counties. He says one man is behind the thefts, 36 year old James Allen Presley. Presley was arrested at Ricky Simpson's house in the Kitrell community. Simpson says Presley was engaged to his sister-in-law and that he paid more than $7000 plus a pickup truck for what he now knows was a stolen earth mover.

Rutherford County Mayor Ernest Burgess was a victim too. Burgess says his John Deere was taken right off his carport. The Mayor's name is still on a repair tag on the back of the seat.

All the mowers were recovered from a warehouse at a recycling business in Centralia, Illinois. Right now James Presley only faces charges in Rutherford County, but Cannon and Coffee Counties are in line. Sheriff Arnold says they've already begun contacting the victims.

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