A Portageville man has been arrested after stealing irrigation equipment from local farms. New Madrid County Sheriff Terry Stevens reported that a deputy spotted an older-model in New Madrid County, when it turned into a residence on County Road 315. The deputy approached the driver and identified him as Paul Shumate of Portageville. Several batteries were in the back of the truck along with several gas cans. The deputy gathered Shumate's information and asked about the batteries. Shumate said he worked for a farmer and was changing the batteries on power units. As the deputy was leaving he requested dispatch to conduct a computer inquiry on Shumate and it was discovered that Shumate had an active warrant for his arrest. During the investigation, the deputy learned the batteries in the truck were stolen from several irrigation units within the county and that Shumate also had stolen a riding lawn mower and hid it in a cotton field. Deputies have identified several victims in the area and are continuing to determine the owners of the remaining batteries. Shumate is being held in the Pemiscot County Jail for his outstanding warrant. Additional warrants are expected to be issued.
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