By Brendan Rees
A construction company that had an $80,000 track loader stolen from a Cranbourne West worksite have pleaded for its return.
The five tonne machinery was taken after intruders broke through temporary fencing at the corner of Thompson Road and Western Port Highway between 4.30pm on Wednesday 9 September and 6.30am on Thursday 10 September.
Sam Spicer, the operations manager of Entracon Civil in Dandenong South which owns the machinery, said it appeared the culprits had hauled the machinery out of the site before driving onto Western Port Highway as track marks had been left behind.
“It’s not a huge bit of gear but you could put it on the back of a tip truck or a good size trailer,” he said.
He said it was likely the thieves used their own master key before making off with the year-old machinery.
“They would’ve started it and driven it that’s for sure.”
In a bitter blow, he said: “We actually just finished on that job, and I was actually going to another job.”
He said the company was lucky enough to use other machinery to get by.
“Really, it hasn’t held us up but it’s just a pain. Especially with everything going on now, we employ about 55 people … no one needs it.”
Mr Spicer added the work site had been broken into multiple times in recent months, with batteries and fuel stolen but had “stopped for a long time”.
He said the incident had been reported to police but was of the understanding there was no closed-circuit television available.
The track loader is a red and black 2019 Kubota (SVL75-2FCW model).
A Victoria Police spokesman confirmed police were investigating the theft.
“Investigators have been told a track loader was stolen from the Westernport Highway site on 9 or 10 September,” the spokesman said.
Anyone with information is urged to contact crime stoppers on 1800 333 000.