Man. manure pile heated up by hot tractor

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A backhoe digs manure out from around a 2009 Steiger 485. Photo courtesy Fisher Branch RCMP.
A backhoe digs manure out from around a 2009 Steiger 485. Photo courtesy Fisher Branch RCMP.

A couple from Manitoba’s Interlake will face charges later this summer after a Steiger tractor, stolen over 17 months ago, was found under a massive manure pile.

The 2009 Case IH Steiger 485, valued at about $300,000, had been reported missing from a business in the RM of Rosser, just northwest of Winnipeg, on Dec. 21, 2010.

“Investigators at the time found that entry was made onto the property and the tractor was driven and loaded onto a trailer,” RCMP said in a release Tuesday.

The tractor’s Quadtrac system left no trail until last week when RCMP from Fisher Branch, about 150 km north of Rosser, followed a Crime Stoppers tip to a property in the RM of Fisher, southwest of the town.

RCMP obtained a search warrant last Thursday for the property and executed it over the following couple of days, a process which included hiring an excavator.

The tractor “was found buried underneath a 12- to 15-foot manure pile on the property,” RCMP said.

Local RCMP and members of the auto theft section of the Mounties’ Winnipeg-based “D” division are still investigating.

In the meantime, a 24-year-old man from the RM of Fisher has been arrested and released on a promise to appear July 24 in Manitoba Provincial Court at nearby Peguis First Nation.

Formal charges are pending, but the man is expected to face charges of theft over $5,000, false pretences and possession of goods obtained by crime.

A 22-year-old woman, also from Fisher, was also released on promise to appear in Provincial Court at Peguis Aug. 28, with charges pending for possession of stolen property.

Case IH launched the Steiger 485 in 2008 with Quadtrac and scraper configuration options. The unit was touted as offering new “compound turbocharger” technology for improved fuel efficiency.

The 485, with a 12.9-litre engine and peak horsepower of 534 hp, was also rated to run on biodiesel at blends of up to B100.