Authorities in Turkey have found and transported back to neighboring Armenia a tractor that was stolen from an Armenian farmer in September.
Gor Karapetian, who lives in a village in the northwestern Shirak province, was cutting hay near an Armenian-Turkish border post when his tractor broke down late in the evening. The vehicle vanished before he came back to the grass field the next morning in hopes of repairing it.
An Armenian law-enforcement body launched a criminal investigation after Karapetian alerted Russian border guards deployed along the closed frontier. The investigation was suspended three months later, with no suspects identified.
The tractor was subsequently found in Turkish territory. Turkish authorities shipped it back to Armenia on February 6.
“We towed it back to the village,” Karapetian told RFE/RL’s Armenian service. “They say that the tractor was found buried under hay.”
The farmer said that the 30-year-old tractor was looted and vandalized by the thieves. They also stole a hay rake that was attached to the tractor, he said, adding that he did not get it back.
“[The hay rake] is worth 2.5 million drams ($5,200) and the tractor 7.2 million drams,” claimed Karapetian. He said he does not know who could compensate him for the damage.
Turkey has kept its border with Armenia completely closed since 1993 because of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Despite tight security on the Armenian side of the frontier, residents of nearby Armenian villages have occasionally reported cross-border theft of their livestock.