A man is facing theft and mischief charges after police chased a stolen runaway tractor through snow-covered fields in rural Alberta.

It all started Tuesday afternoon, when local RCMP were dispatched to investigate a report of stolen firearms and other items in an apparent break-in at an rural address east of Red Deer.

More than an hour later, police received another call, this time from nearby property owners who reported their John Deere 6400 tractor as stolen, said Cpl. B.J. LaRocque of Blackfalds RCMP.

“The owner of that tractor was watching the tractor drive away through their fields,” LaRocque told CTVNews.ca.

Officers started scouring the township and range roads looking for the tractor.

After finding tracks in the snow-covered fields, a passing snowmobiler gave an RCMP officer a ride in an effort to help locate the tractor.

When they came upon it in a field, LaRocque said the tractor was ploughing through fences and trees.

“There was no way, without too much risk, that we could stop the tractor,” the officer said. “So we were hoping by just following, the operator of the tractor would just stop.”

As the tractor’s operator continued to evade police, the vehicle mounted the side of a hill and stalled, police said.

The tractor then rolled onto its side, causing significant equipment damage.

The man was removed from the tractor’s cab, where LaRocque said officers also found firearms, jewellery and other items that had been reported stolen from the initial break-in call.

No one was injured in the incident.