Vandals Take Construction Site Equipment For A Ride - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

6/13/06-Bullard

Vandals Take Construction Site Equipment For A Ride

An East Texas construction company is out thousands of dollars after vandals take their equipment for a ride.   It happened overnight at the Katima subdivision. That's located on County Road 3801 in Bullard.   The subdivision was expected to be finished in two weeks, but that was before the equipment was damaged.

When they came in this morning, workers for the AGTOPRO development company noticed a piece of their equipment was not where they left it.

"The unit was actually parked right here in this open space, and they got it in gear and started to do a right hand turn and came around," said General Manager Bob Burnett. General Manager Bob Burnett found there 60 thousand pound earth compactor crashed into their roller. The vandals tried to drive another piece of equipment, but were only able to lift the blade.

"This piece right here could be 2 thousand dollars, any mechanisms or any other valves damaged could run another several thousand dollars," said Burnett. Burnett says on some of the equipment, the keys were left in the ignition. The vandals used tools to start the others.

"We determined this morning that we think one of the pieces of equipment that was actually wrecked was probably started with a screw driver where he or she jammed it in the ignition,"  said Burnett. Operating these heavy pieces of equipment, Burnett says is very difficult. It takes years of experience and extensive training to be able to drive them. That's why Burnett says those that were out here last night are very lucky they didn't get hurt.  

"The position the equipment was left in, if someone had gotten in between those two pieces it certainly would have shortened their summer," said Burnett. It's a message the company wants to send to whoever came out last night before they decide to do again somewhere else. AGTOPROF is offering a $2,000.00 reward to anyone with information on last night's vandalism. If you have any information, call the Cherokee County Sheriff's Department.

Molly Reuter, reporting. mreuter@kltv.com

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