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Newton resident helps police find stolen tractor

COVINGTON - Newton County Sheriff's Office deputies are tipping their hats to a resident who helped them catch an alleged tractor thief on Feb. 10.

The resident knew his friend's tractor had been stolen from an area near Salem Road and when he saw someone riding it along Ga. Highway 81, near the Yellow River Bridge, he sprung into action, said Lt. Mark Mitchell, spokesman for the NCSO.

"When he saw the suspect, he moved his truck in front of the tractor and ordered the suspect to the ground at gunpoint," Mitchell said. "When deputies arrived, they discovered the suspect and the tractor that had been stolen earlier."

Arrested and charged with theft by receiving stolen property was Joseph Keith Kelly, 38, of 124 Skyland Drive in Locust Grove.

Mitchell said the property was returned to the owner and no one was hurt during

the incident.

"We're just glad everyone was safe, and although we don't recommend that people take matters into their own hands, we appreciate the community's help," Mitchell said.

Barbara Knowles can be reached at barbara.knowles@newtoncitizen.com.