It was a frustrating case that took eight months to end in an arrest. A $35,000 Caterpiller skid steer, stolen from a contracted Ohio tree surgeon working at 1335 Floodman Road in Palmyra disappeared from the site.
State Troopers had a hunch that a day worker may have been behind the theft, but the investigation dragged on. Just on a fluke, Trooper Ryan Braeger, while working another case, drove by the residence of Eliza Ternoois, the suspect’s girlfriend. There, he spotted the stolen tractor on an adjoining property.
A call to Eric Frisbie, age 37, of 4256 Covell Road in Rose, resulted in a complete denial, claiming the tractor was his. A search warrant was initiated on July 14 and the skid steer was recovered.
The tractor was repainted, the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) had been ground down and the serial plate on the engine removed.
In the following days after the seizure by State Police, Frisbie called 911 numerous times and called for the Sheriff’s Office and threatened to retrieve what he claimed was his piece of equipment.
On Thursday (7/28) morning, Frisbie, in a last moment of defiance, came to the Lyons State Police barracks with a fake bill of sale. At that time he was arrested for D-Felony Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Third Degree. The District Attorney’s Office requested Frisbie be held.
Frisbie reportedly stole the tractor to set up his own tree service. The Caterpillar was released to the grateful Ohio tree surgeon and taken back to Ohio.
Ternoois was not charged in the case.