Thieves hit school construction site

A red 2011 Polaris Sportsman Quad with an Ashtech Z GPS unit mounted on the front was among the items stolen from the construction site for the new Prospect Elementary School. –CONTRIBUTED

A red 2011 Polaris Sportsman Quad with an Ashtech Z GPS unit mounted on the front was among the items stolen from the construction site for the new Prospect Elementary School. –CONTRIBUTED

PROSPECT — Thieves made off with thousands of dollars of equipment from the construction site of the new Prospect Elementary School.

The theft occurred sometime between the evening of Jan. 11 and the morning of Jan. 13, according to a press release issued by state police. Police said it appears at least two individuals unlocked the gate to enter the site at 75 New Haven Road.

A Champion 1800 watt generator valued at $300, a red 2011 Polaris Sportsman Quad valued at about $7,000 and an Ashtech Z GPS unit, which was mounted on the front of the quad and valued at $48,000, were all stolen along with assorted tools, according to police. 

About 800 gallons of red-dyed diesel fuel valued at about $4,000 was siphoned from several machines as well.

Police have determined from tire tracks in the mud that the suspects used a pickup truck that had single tires in the rear and no trailer, according to the release.

The equipment was stolen from the Richards Corporation out of Terryville, which received the bid to the site work, excavation and landscaping for the new school.

“We’re very disappointed obviously that the security of the site was compromised,” Region 16 Superintendent of Schools Tim James.

Construction for the new school began in November. The school is the largest part of a three-part building project that also includes renovations to Laurel Ledge School in Beacon Falls and a new district office.

James said the district will not incur any additional costs due to the theft. The company’s insurance company will cover the losses, he said.

After meeting with company officials, James said some measures will be taken to increase security of the site.

Portions of the blue scrim, the material lining the fence between the site and New Haven Road, will be removed. James said the scrim will be removed from the entrance gate and near it in order to allow police officers to look into the construction site when doing a check of the property.

The scrim was put up, in part, to prevent the work going on at the site to distract people while they drive on New Haven Road, James said.

Security cameras will also be installed, James added. The cameras will be web-based, so officials and police will be able to remote access the feed 24 hours a day, he said.

The Richards Corporation is also offering a reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the theft. James said the district has given the company permission to hang a sign on the fence along New Haven Road advertising the reward.

The theft remained under investigation as of press time. Anyone with any information or anyone who may have observed anything unusual at the construction site can contact the Prospect Resident Troopers Office at (203) 758-6150 or Troop I in Bethany at (203) 393-4200. All calls will be kept confidential, police said.

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