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Police searching for stolen construction equipment in Kingsport

By Megan Brantley, mbrantley@wcyb.com
Published On: May 20 2013 10:49:41 PM CDT
Updated On: May 20 2013 04:14:27 PM CDT
KINGSPORT, Tenn. -

A construction crew is putting in long hours at the Colonial Height's McDonalds as they try to get the fast food restaurant operational.

"That McDonalds is in the process of being rebuilt and there was a lot of heavy construction equipment on scene from excavation," said Tom Patton, Kingsport Police Officer.

When workers got to the site Monday morning, they noticed something they needed was missing. "What was stolen was a flat bed Gooseneck utility trailer, black in color, and a Caterpillar skid loader," said Patton.

We learned the skid loader, owned by Dereck Blair Excavation, looks very similar to what most people know as a Bobcat. Both pieces together are worth nearly $100,000. "They could be stealing it for personal use, they could be stealing it for [resale] or they could tearing it apart and selling it as scrap," said Patton.

Police say it was no easy task to nab the two pieces of equipment, saying they weren't close to each other. "Those were actually in two separate locations The thieves loaded the skid loader onto the flat bed trailer then hauled both of those away," said Patton.

Patton tells News 5 it’s finding the thief that is going to be a tough job with so many people coming and going from the site. "We don't know it wasn't observed by people, but just because it was observed doesn't mean those people found it suspicious," said Patton.

Patton says they hope the media attention will help jog someone's memory. "[We're] getting the word out there and when people find out whoever it was loading that equipment onto the trailer was not authorized to do so, was not part of the construction crew; hopefully we'll have some tips come forward on that," he said.

If you have any information that you think could be helpful, you're asked to call the Kingsport Police Department at 423-229-9300.