Brazen daytime theft

Alanna Kelly

Thieves pulled off a brazen daytime theft of a piece of heavy equipment worth $40,000 at a construction site in Kelowna.

TNC Excavating president Troy Chapman believes the 2015 John Deere 26G excavator was stolen from a job site at Dilworth Drive and Enterprise Way on Sunday, between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

“We don’t know where to go with the (all the) theft in Kelowna anymore. We are just constantly fighting the thieves,” he said.

Chapman believes the thieves entered the site when one of the workers left temporarily. He alleges they drove the excavator onto a dirt pile to get it inside their getaway vehicle.

RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey says evidence at the scene suggests the suspect vehicle used to commit the crime fled northbound on Dilworth Drive.

This isn’t the first time the company has had something stolen. Earlier this year, another machine was taken, along with fuel.

“Two weeks ago, we had probably 300 litres of fuel stolen from us, and people don’t realize what it costs us as contractors,” said Chapman. “To lose $400 worth of fuel, and say we have a 10 per cent mark up, we have to do a $4,000 job just to get back to square one.”

Investigators are asking businesses in the area to check their video surveillance of parking lots and nearby roads.

“RCMP are also encouraging motorists, who may have been in that area during that time to review any dash camera footage that may assist in our investigation,” said O’Donaghey. 

Chapman said the company does have insurance, but he's fed up with the number of equipment thefts.

“It is not just me, it is all the contractors,” he said. “Winn Rentals has lost a couple of pieces of equipment in the last month and a half.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Const. Regan Donahue at 250-762-3300 and keep an eye out for the machine, with serial number 1FF026GXCFK260346.

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