On July 1, 2011 Mr. Freddie Bell reported a John Deere model 5410 tractor and mower valued at $ 15,500 missing from his property. This is the third theft at the old Bongers Dairy farm located at 12550 SE 30th Street in Morriston, Florida. The property is over 1400 acres and is used for commercial horticulture, with planted peanuts.
The suspect(s) unlawfully entered the property during the early morning hours of July 1st and stole the tractor/mower out of the barn. The suspects stole the tractor for the purpose of pulling copper wire from the irrigation pump and also entered another barn and stole some copper wire. The suspect(s) concealed the tractor in the woods and it appeared that they would return the following night to finish the job.
Special Operations Captain Scott Anderson and Lt. Duane Dykstra conducted a stakeout the following evening. Shortly after 4 O'clock in the morning the suspects returned to the property and went directly to the tractor. The stakeout team allowed the suspects to remove the tractor and drive across the peanut field and went directly to the irrigation pump next to the barn. The suspects had no idea that deputies were following them through the field. The suspects were in the process of stealing more copper wire and they were surprised when Anderson/Dykstra apprehended them at gun point.
The suspects were identified as Frederick Arthur Mills from Dunnellon and Wayne Joseph Drake from Inglis. Mills was charged with 2 counts of burglary, grand theft, criminal mischief, 2 counts of felony trespassing and petit theft. Mills has a $ 575,000 bond and he has a Citrus County warrant for violation of probation for drug paraphernalia. Drake was charged with criminal mischief and felony trespassing and he has a $ 5,000 bond.
This has been a growing trend with suspects stealing copper wire from irrigation pivots. The Sheriff's Office will continue our proactive stance against farm theft and use every means to arrest the subjects.
Frederick Arthur Mills
19660 SE 119th Terrace
Wayne Joseph Drake
12307 West Edwards Court
Major Evan Sullivan
Levy County Sheriff's Office
FBI-National Academy 183rd Session