Reward Offered For Missing Backhoe

Wednesday, December 19th 2007, 6:47 pm
By: News On 6

Someone stole some construction equipment during the ice storm. Thefts of equipment aren’t uncommon, but they are especially frustrating in the middle of a natural disaster. News On 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright reports the company is willing to pay $5,000 to get the equipment returned.

Beco Construction’s backhoe was parked at Pine and Peoria and disappeared last Monday, that first day of the ice storm. Beco Construction was surprised the crooks got it, because they'd installed some pretty heavy duty anti-theft devices.

"They took a sledgehammer or piece of equipment and busted this to where it came off,” said Kyle Wilson of Beco.

Kyle Wilson says they use leg locks that are supposed to keep the machines from being stolen. But, just as companies create anti-theft devices, thieves find a way to defeat them. The leg locks keep the wheels off the ground, so equipment can't be driven. But when the locks were beaten off, the thieves were able to drive the Caterpillar backhoe off the job site. They say it seems equipment theft gets worse during bad weather.

"Seems like that's when we get equipment stolen, snow on the ground, we get bobcats stolen or backhoes, things they need at the moment,” said Kyle Wilson with Beco Construction.

Beco Construction has about 20 jobsites going on around the Tulsa area at any given time and investing in all the equipment isn't cheap. One backhoe can cost $85,000 and with so much of it, insurance rates are high and deductibles can be as high as $25,000. The theft of equipment not only slows down their work, it also creates some huge costs.

“It makes us mad. We work hard to earn money to buy this equipment. That was a brand new piece, not like this older one. They took the best we had. It's very frustrating,” said Kyle Wilson with Beco Construction.

Right now, the company just wants the backhoe back. Anyone who knows where it is can call the Beco Construction at 445-2684. Again, the company is willing to pay $5,000 for the return of its equipment.

Watch the video: Company Wants Stolen Equipment Back