ST. LANDRY PARISH- “Detectives with the Eunice Substation have recovered a bulldozer stolen from a job site worth $150,000,” according to Sheriff Bobby J. Guidroz.
The bulldozer had last been seen on July 18, was reported missing on July 22, by the owner of a local company who reported that his crew was working on a job for the Union Pacific Railroad near Chanteberry Road and noticed their 2000 Komatsu bulldozer was missing.
Tractor tire tracks were found that appeared to be leaving the job site. Detectives then began to search the area where the tracks were found.
Upon following the tracks, the tractor appeared to have been moved between St. Landry and Evangeline Parish. The company received a call, while detectives and patrol deputies were searching the area, informing them that two employees found more tracks in the Pointe Blue area on Hwy 29 which is in Evangeline Parish.
With the help of Evangeline Parish SO and employees of the company, they were able to follow the tracks that led to the driveway of a home located on the 3000 block of Chataignier Road in Ville Platte.
Deputies received permission to search the property, from the land owner after the top section of a bulldozer frame could be seen behind some hay bales located in the rear of the property. The landowner was away at work in Lafayette and agreed to meet the detectives at his property. A search warrant for the property was secured by Evangeline Parish deputies, prior to the owner’s arrival, but the owner had stated that he had no problem with voluntarily allowing the officers to search the property.
The area was then searched by detectives, where they believed the stolen bulldozer was and and were able to locate it. The land owner was then brought to the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office for questioning. He said that his room-mate/former brother-in-law, Rickie Richard arrived at his home on July 18, with the bulldozer.
The land owner and Richard were doing work on the property, in which the land owner had rented a bulldozer from Jennings approximately eight months ago. Richard was going to rent the dozer for additional work needed since he paid for it the last time, said the land owner. The land owner said he was unaware that it was stolen and thought Richard rented it for a week.
Detectives were unable to locate Richard and are currently looking for him for questioning.
This case is still under investigation. If you know the whereabouts of Rickie John Richard, white/male, age 49, please call crime stoppers at 948-8477 (TIPS).