PEI

Thousands of dollars worth of tools stolen from Green Gables construction site

Thieves made off with between $15,000 and $20,000 worth of power tools from the construction site at Green Gables House on P.E.I.'s North Shore Boxing Day night, says a local construction company.

Several work trailers broken into, says company

Construction began on an expanded visitor centre in the spring. (Randy McAndrew/CBC)

Thieves made off with between $15,000 and $20,000 worth of power tools from the construction site at Green Gables House on P.E.I.'s North Shore Boxing Day night, says a local construction company.

Stefen Corkum the foreman with Duffy Construction, said when he arrived at the construction site he saw that the padlock on his 18-foot tool trailer had been cut off — and most of the tools inside were gone. He said several other trailers on the site were broken into as well. The theft occurred sometime after 6 p.m. Dec. 26 and before 6 a.m. the following morning.

The company lost everything from gas powered saws and generators, to hand tools like grinders and wrenches.  

"It's disheartening and it makes you angry actually because you're trying to work and someone stole your right to work.

"You have an employer that provides you with tools to do your job and when you get there, they're gone."

Third theft in under two years

In the last year and a half, Duffy Construction has had equipment or materials stolen from a job site on three separate occasions, Corkum said. 

The company takes precautions against thefts like this, including equipping tool trailers with mechanisms to prevent them from being hauled away, he said. But if thieves manage to get inside the trailers, Corkum said, most tools are portable, easy to carry and easy to resell.

"People know it's there, they know what kind of work is being done. 

"I think it's becoming a real problem on the Island, every second day you hear about someone else getting robbed, it's not just Duffy Construction it's a lot of contractors," he said. 

"There needs to be something done."

RCMP investigating

RCMP say they have opened a file on the case and an investigation is ongoing. 

Sgt. Leanne Butler said construction sites tend to be targets of theft because they often aren't well lit. She encourages contractors to keep equipment locked or remove it from the site when workers aren't there. 

Butler said the RCMP are asking anyone who may have seen suspicious activity in the area to report it to police. 

She said police are also asking people to be on the look out for tools or equipment being sold on the second-hand market at reduced prices or in bulk and if it seems suspicious to report it to police.

Construction on a new visitor centre at the historic site began earlier this year.

Duffy Construction is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the recovery of the tools. Corkum said in the mean time the company is working to replace the equipment so its crew can get back to work. 

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