Forget converters, farm tractor weights The latest flying craze

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In the latest example of tractor weight theft, a Moses Lake man is facing charges for allegedly attempting to recycle a number of weights, which authorities say were stolen.

A man tries to recycle at least 39 stolen weights

For some time now, we have seen catalytic converter thefts soar across the Pacific Northwest and Washington State. They are quite cost effective to recycle. But with a new accent and laws in place limiting how they can be recycled, thieves are turning to another source of metal: tractor weight.

They are used to allow tractors to pull heavier loads without the front lifting off the ground. They vary in shapes and sizes, the picture we have in this story is of John Deere weights, these weigh 65 pounds each. Sometimes they are called “suitcase” weights.

Recycling company calls MPs

On June 3, a worker from Moses Lake Iron and Metal notified the Grant County Sheriff’s Office that Noe Mata had shown up at their facility with several of these weights on the back, along with circle wire. However, he left without speaking to anyone and did not attempt to recycle his cargo – possibly because he felt they were on to him.

Mata had previously recycled some materials in the installation.

Five days later, via a search warrant on his Toyota van, deputies found 39 of those stolen weights along with other materials. Mata offered to return them, but his truck was seized as part of the investigation. Authorities also discovered what they called “usage amounts” of methamphetamine inside the vehicle. He will face various charges related to this incident.

Farmers in the area have been keeping a close eye on their tools lately as this wave of weight theft is spreading fast.

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