ELK, Wash. – A well-known local felon is back in jail after being accused of a bizarre crime. Spokane County Sheriff’s deputies said Richard Trower and a friend stole a tractor from an Elk construction site and drove it miles away, down an isolated road.
According to court documents Trower and his friend drove the stolen tractor for ten miles so slowly it nearly ran out of gas. A neighbor later spotted the tractor, thought it was odd, and told deputies about it. Deputies believed the tractor was stolen so they launched an aerial investigation using planes from Customs and Border Protection. Authorities eventually got a search warrant for Trower’s property. Deputies said they found the stolen tractor along with guns, including a semi-automatic handgun.
This is not the first time Trower has made headlines for an unusual crime. Over the years he’s been arrested for crimes including assault and evading police.
In 2007, he was accused of deliberately running over and killing his friend during an argument about a girl. Prosecutors decided not to bring charges against Trower in that case. Then, in 2010, Trower was convicted of taking police on a high-speed chase through Spokane Valley. Police said they believed Trower tried to get away because he was involved in a mass gas theft ring. At the time, he was accused of stealing 375 gallons worth of fuel.