Written and submitted by South Brunswick police:
A resident thought it was unusual to see an antique tractor driving on Stouts Lane Saturday evening so she took a picture of it.
That picture led police to identify exactly who was on the tractor before it was abandoned on Route 522, the owner.
At 11 a.m. Sunday morning, South Brunswick Police sent out a Nixle message looking for the owner of an antique tractor found Saturday night at 11:37PM stuck on a guardrail on Route 522. Police had checked at several of the local farms but no one was missing a tractor.
At around 2 p.m., the owner of the tractor William Campbell, 54, called police headquarters after seeing the story and reported that it was his tractor that had been stolen. Officers went to his residence and he indicated that the tractor had been stolen off his property sometime Saturday evening.
At around 5 p.m. a resident called police headquarters to report having seen an antique tractor driving on Stouts Lane near the high school on Saturday evening. The resident said she took a picture of it with her cell phone. because it was so unusual.
Officer Pete Santa went over and spoke with the woman and looked at the picture. Officer Santa realized the person driving the tractor Saturday evening was the owner.
Officer Santa went over the owner's Ridge Road home and questioned him about the picture. The owner admitted that he was the driver and he made up the story about it being stolen because his driver’s license is suspended.
He told the officer he was attempting to take the tractor to get gas when it broke down and became stuck on the guardrail. He left it on Route 522 because he believed he would have been in trouble for driving it on a roadway.
Campbell was arrested and charged with filing a false police report. He was released on a summons pending his first court appearance.