SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. – A tip helped authorities find a stolen $100,000 piece of equipment from a Spokane Valley construction site.
Deputies with the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office said they received a call claiming the Caterpillar front-end loader was parked on a Spokane Valley street. It was located and returned to the construction site. A suspect has not been arrested.
Deputies were called to S. Carnine Ct. Wednesday afternoon. One of the neighbors said a Caterpillar had been parked in the neighborhood since at least 5 a.m. Saturday. She did now think anything of it because another neighbor was getting ready to do some excavating and thought that was what the machine was going to be used for.
The deputy checked the WIN on the Caterpillar and confirmed it was the stolen machine.
Authorities said construction crews discovered the Caterpillar was missing on Monday.
Investigators said the loader was driven through a security fence at the site on E. Broadway, not far from N. Sullivan Rd, sometime over the weekend.
The manager said the machine was locked but that a universal Caterpillar key could have been used to steal it. The owner of the company rented a helicopter on Tuesday, but was not able to locate the machine by air. According to the owner, the machine weighed approximately 40,000 lbs. and was valued at $100,000.
Crime Stoppers was offering a cash reward for anyone providing information leading to an arrest in the incident. The Sheriff’s office asked anyone with information to call the Crime Stoppers Tip Line at 1-800-222-TIPS, or to forward the tip via the Internet website.