Man charged with DUI while driving stolen tractor faces more charges

troot@thesunnews.comNovember 9, 2012 

— The man who was charged with driving under the influence after troopers stopped him near Interstate 95 in a tractor reported stolen from Conway, now faces another charge in connection with the incident, according to authorities.

Timothy Bessent, 48, of Conway was charged Thursday with possession of stolen property by troopers with the S.C. Highway Patrol after they stopped him about 1:30 a.m. Oct. 3 driving a tractor along S.C. 38 at Interstate 95 in the Latta area and charged him with DUI , said Lance Cpl. Sonny Collins.

It’s unclear where Bessent was going when he was stopped. Bessent was taken into custody and to the Dillon County Detention Center. The tractor was towed to an impound lot in Florence, according to authorities.

Conway city workers discovered the tractor missing about six and a half hours after Bessent’s arrest, when they arrived at a job site on New Road in Conway to discover the tractor was gone. The workers reported they last saw the tractor the day before when they left it there after their shift.

The tractor belonged to the City of Conway and police there are continuing to investigate its theft, said Catina Hipp, Conway spokeswoman.

Conway officials made several pleas and offered a reward seeking information about the stolen tractor until authorities followed a paper trail and discovered its whereabouts. The tractor was returned to the city this week.

Bessent has not been charged in the tractor theft, and Conway police are investigating how he came to be in possession of the equipment, Hipp said.

Conway officials had offered a $1,000 reward for information leading to the recovery of the tractor. That reward will not be paid to anyone, Hipp said, because law enforcement officials located it.

Contact TONYA ROOT at 444-1723.

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