A conspicuous piece of machinery has been stolen from a business in Grand Falls-Windsor.

RCMP in the town said on the night of Nov. 5, someone took a John Deere mini-excavator from the lot of Oake's Trucking and Contracting on Whitmore Street. 

The excavator's owner called the theft a "huge blow" to his business, and said when he arrived at work on Wednesday morning, all that was left of the machine were tire tracks in the mud. 

RCMP Const. Rory Jeddore

RCMP Const. Rory Jeddore. (CBC)

"Based on surveillance cam footage, [it] looks like someone entered the compound using a heavy-duty pickup truck and a flatbed, [it] appears to be a Ford or Chev of some sort, loaded the excavator onto the flatbed, and drove away," said Cst. Rory Jeddore. 

"Obviously, they want to get the equipment back, given the cost, this is a substantial loss to them."

The owner, who was too upset for an on-camera interview with CBC News, said the machine is valued at $38,000 and was used daily.

He said that it would take about 10 minutes to steal the machine, and doesn't have high hopes for its return. He added it's fairly easy for thieves to dismantle the excavator, and then sell it for parts. 

RCMP are hoping the public can help them track down the machinery.