DPW worker accused of stealing city-parish tractor

A city-parish Department of Public Works employee was arrested Wednesday afternoon, accused of stealing a new $45,000 Kubota tractor with the price tags still on it from a city-parish garage on Sept. 20.

Baton Rouge police booked Watson Williams III, 34, 5821 Larchwood Drive, Baton Rouge, into Parish Prison on counts of theft of a motor vehicle, police spokeswoman Sgt. Mary Ann Godawa said.

Williams drove the tractor out of the city-parish garage about 7 a.m. on Sept. 20, parking it nearby and returning returned later with a truck and trailer to transport it to family property in Wilson where he hid it in a wooded area, Godawa said.

Hunters called the East Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s Office on Nov. 8 to report that they found the tractor on the property, Godawa said.

David Guillory, DPW director, said the truck and trailer Williams used to haul the trailer both belonged to the city-parish.

He said they identified Williams as a suspect when they saw his name in the book as having checked out the truck that day.

Guillory said the tractor was stolen soon after it arrived at the facility.

Williams has been suspended without pay and the city-parish will possibly move toward a pre-termination hearing pending the result of an investigation, Guillory said.