CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) – Champaign police say a teenager is facing traffic charges after stealing a tractor early Monday morning. Officers responded to Country Fair Drive near the intersection of Springfield Avenue at 2:30 a.m. for a report of someone driving “erratically.” That turned out to be a 16-year-old boy behind the wheel of a John Deere.
Police said they spotted the tractor “weaving across the roadway at a low speed.” They initiated a traffic stop, but the driver “failed to yield for the stop before exiting the roadway and taking the vehicle down pedestrian paths into Heritage Park.”
Police stopped traffic as they continued trying to stop the tractor, which eventually broke down. At that point, the teen ran off through backyards in the Parkland Ridge neighborhood, including Brandon Miller’s. Miller said he first noticed his dogs barking more than usual, then he noticed an unmarked police vehicle on his security camera. When he looked outside, he saw several squad cars parked down the block.
“I didn’t sleep much the rest of the night. Not that I was scared or nervous, it was just the adrenaline. I was just thinking – this is really weird. It’s a really quiet neighborhood, hardly anything like that happens here, especially a tractor being stolen,” Miller said.
Miller said he’s thankful for the officers who caught and arrested the suspect. Police said they learned the tractor had been stolen from a work site in Savoy.