- Associated Press - Monday, November 3, 2014

ROCKVILLE, Md. (AP) - A Montgomery County man will spend the next 18 months in jail after being caught riding his neighbor’s stolen $10,000 tractor.

The tractor, used for mowing grass, plowing snow and moving mulch, went missing from its owners’ shed in Ashton in July 2012.

The Washington Post reports (http://wapo.st/1xRZWRW ) that Montgomery County detectives hadn’t made much progress when the homeowners spotted the tractor in May 2013. It was being used by their neighbor, 44-year-old Michael Murphy.

Police say Murphy had filed off the tractor’s serial and engine numbers, and had paperwork for a similar tractor he bought in 2006. But detectives later matched Murphy’s tractor with the stolen one using a transmission serial number.

Murphy was convicted of theft this summer and was sentenced to 18 months in jail Friday.

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