Updated 1/22/2015 to include tractor photo.
One part of society that seemed fairly free of seedy behavior is those who restore and display antique tractors. It's a hobby for many, an investment for some. Most of the people who do it love farming – both yesterday and today.
Just his past weekend someone stole a tractor from a well-known collector. They not only stole the tractor but his trailer, too.
Dick Kruse, Montgomery County, Ind., collects and restores vintage tractors of all types. He's known nationwide because he donates tractors to college agriculture fraternities all over the country to help them raise funds. He's done so for many years.
Last year he inspired the Martinsville FFA Chapter in Martinsville, Ind., to restore a unique Empire tractor that he found with trees growing through it in a barnyard in Kentucky. The tractor runs and has been displayed at the Indiana State Fair.
"I arrived at my business location at 96th Street and Michigan Road in Indianapolis, Ind., the other morning, and soon noticed a trailer was missing. Then I discovered one of my neat collectible tractors was gone too," Kruse says. "I couldn't believe it."
Kruse wants his stolen antique tractor back. It's the principle more than anything else, he says. Con men steal things, but to steal an antique tractor and use the tractor owner's trailer to do it, in the heart of a business and residential area, is brazen indeed.
Perhaps you can help. Here's a description of the stolen tractor and trailer.
Tractor: Allis Chalmers D-15 wide-front, restored show-room new. It is a Series II tractor, originally sold by an Indiana Allis-Chalmers dealer. The tractor is equipped with an after-market three-point hitch to convert from snap-coupler, with one stabilizing bar attached and one not. It has new rubber all the way around, and an 'old man' step on the left side to make mounting easier. A mirror was mounted on the tractor to make seeing behind easier when driven in tractor drives. There was a name plate with Dick's name on the tractor. Even if removed, it would likely leave marks where the glue pulled loose.
Trailer: It's a 20-foot, Sure-Trac trailer, known as a 17- by- 3, with a 3 foot-bobtail and unfolding loading ramps. There's a 2-inch receiver hitch near the front because Kruse sometimes mounted a winch on the trailer. It's a bumper-hitch trailer that is black in color.
How to help: If you see either one of these items or hear of someone trying to sell items that match this description, call local authorities, and please let us know. We will contact Kruse immediately. Call 317-431-8766 or email [email protected]. Kruse thanks you in advance for your cooperation!
One parting editorial thought: God commanded 'Thou shalt not steal!' It's really dumb to steal such an identifiable item with a limited market. Please share this story - we're hoping one of you can help.