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Authorities seek suspect in high end game of Hide and Seek

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POTTAWATOMIE COUNTY, Okla.- Stolen vehicles are a fairly common problem for police to investigate.

But in Pottawatomie County, officials are investigating two unrelated incidents of stolen heavy machinery.

One burglary took place at a home just outside of Shawnee.

Deputies found the tools, cutting torches, welding equipment, which were all reported stolen, in a storage unit rented by their female suspect.

The woman is actually homeless, but rented the storage facility to hide stolen goods.

Along with the tools, the suspect had driven away with the man's tractor.

She didn't take it far, backing into some trees across the street from the burglarized home, and attempted to camouflage the tractor with leaves and a blanket.

The suspect, who is not yet in custody,  is no stranger to police with previous drug and stolen property charges.

In a separate incident, a few miles from that location, investigators were engaged in a game of hide and seek.

A backhoe, belonging to the Oklahoma Department of Transportation, was found hidden in the trees.

"They noticed that the fence was cut, and they followed the tracks all the way to the treeline right where it's sitting right now," a deputy said.

Detectives believe it was stolen Thursday night when it was parked in the median of Interstate 40.

Investigators believe someone hot-wired it, drove it down the road about a half mile and then barreled through a fence before parking it in the trees with the intention of coming back later to get it.

"I guess it was easier to take," a deputy said.

Investigators dusted the tractor for fingerprints, but that's not the only evidence they have.

They found a mask dropped just outside a gate where the tractor was found and believe the thief may have worn it during their short joyride down the interstate.

If you have any information, contact the Pottawatomie County Sheriff's Office.