WACO (December 31, 2013) McLennan County sheriff’s deputies arrested a teenager Tuesday in the theft of a $14,000 utility task vehicle that was stolen from the home of Rick and Vicky Pavelka of Highway 84 in Axtell while the family was eating Christmas dinner.
The 15-year-old boy, whose name was not released because of his age, admitted to the theft, authorities said Tuesday.
He was placed in juvenile custody, charged with theft.
The UTV, which was parked just a few yards away from the back door of the Pavelka’s home at the time it was stolen on Christmas Day, was recovered late Sunday night.
A resident who saw a News 10 story on the theft called the McLennan County Sheriff's Office and said he had seen the stolen UTV in a field behind Cherokee Street in Elm Mott.
Deputies found the UTV wedged between two trees in a wooded area near the field just after 11 p.m. Sunday.
The UTV has been returned to the Pavelkas.
"I'm so thankful and glad to have it back," Rick Pavelka said Monday.
"This is an excellent example of how our patrol deputies are thinking on their feet to get crimes like these solved where the information is the freshest," McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara said Monday.
"This type of thievery will not be tolerated by any means in McLennan County," he said.
A $20,000 UTV that was stolen in September from Munn Racing was found in the same field earlier, authorities said Monday, but the thefts apparently weren’t related.