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Tropical storm provides opportunity for metal thefts

Thieves steal gear from Charlton highway site

September 05, 2011
CHARLTON — While most people took shelter from Tropical Storm Irene, somebody took advantage of the storm to steal equipment from the Highway Garage construction site over the weekend.

According to Highway Superintendent Gerry Foskett, workers coming in Monday, Aug. 29, found a $5,500 soil compactor missing.

"That's what got their attention, then they started looking around and found manhole covers and drainage stuff missing," he said, but noted he was told after the fact.

Police Chief James Pervier said the thieves used a loader onsite to pick up the machine and 10 350-pound manhole covers, load them into some vehicle, and drive away.

"The loader was still running when they came in the morning," he said, speculating the thieves might not have known how to shut it off. "A lot of times, construction equipment is taken out of state or appears on eBay, Craigslist or other sites, and sometimes people use it for their own construction companies."

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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