BUFFALO CENTER | Two men accused of damaging a tractor while operating it without permission near Buffalo Center have each been charged with felony first-degree criminal mischief.
Joshua L. Mathahs, 22, and Jesse A. Boehm, 21, both of Rake, also face misdemeanor charges of third-degree burglary and operating a motor vehicle without the owner's consent.
At around 2 a.m. on Dec. 8, Boehm drove the John Deere tractor out of a farm residence with Mathahs in the passenger seat, according to a Winnebago County Sheriff's Office criminal complaint.
They allegedly drove the tractor through a ditch, back onto the road and then back into a ditch.
Authorities say the right front wheel of the tractor was damaged, causing it to separate from the rest of the vehicle.
The tractor was left in the middle of a picked corn field on 410th Street, near where it was taken.
Damage to the tractor is estimated at $50,000 to $60,000.
-- Mary Pieper