North Sound News

Construction, paving equipment still missing after theft in Snohomish County

Snohomish County authorities are still on the hunt for several large pieces of construction equipment that were stolen and are still missing after nearly two weeks.

JB Asphalt, of North Sound. Says thieves stole their heavy machinery twice and he’s hoping publicity could help investigators track down the suspects. The thieves even stole two rollers that weight several tons.

Owner Bret Niebruegge says the thieves came back after taking company equipment back on July 22. At that time they got into a storage container, got keys and drove off with some of the trucks and trailers that carry the heavy rollers. He says they even piled expensive tools onto trailers. While one truck has been returned, the conspicuous rollers are still missing along with thousands of dollars in equipment.

Niebruegge said both he and his workers were surprised by the brazen move for thieves to come back to their Maltby yard and try to steal some more after getting away with so much the first time. “In our mind, it was a gutsy move but they came back or somebody came back and took another piece of equipment," Niebruegge said.

Niebruegge said one piece of equipment was returned after a botched theft attempt: They hotwired the construction vehicle and drove off, but eventually abandoned it. “it's really frustrating. it's violating,” Niebruegge said.

Thieves stole service trucks, thousands in paving equipment and asphalt rollers, a piece of equipment that really only serves one purpose. “That's been a mystery to us too. We're not really sure what they would use it for or why,” Niebruegge said.

Niebruegge said the theft has put his crew in a bind, -- paving work has slowed down.

Auto theft investigators in Snohomish County hope the public will recognize the stolen equipment --especially the rollers covered in tar and asphalt -- and alert the authorities.

Investigators says stealing construction equipment has gotten more common, but stealing several tons in asphalt rollers is not. Even Neibruegge admits the simplest thing for the thieves to do with the heavy equipment would be to return it, since selling it would be a tough task. “We need our stuff the rest of the guys on the crew the company needs the stuff to do their job. So please just give it back,” Niebruegge said.

Niebruegge said there is the possibility that the thieves may try to move the rollers out of the area or even out of the state, since that may be the only way to sell them, so Snohomish County investigators want people to keep an eye out to make sure the equipment is recovered.

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