Town-owned equipment stolen from Matthies Park

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BEACON FALLS — State police are investigating the theft of town-owned landscaping equipment from Matthies Park.

Police said the suspect or suspects broke into a locked, four-bay garage in the park and stole a 1992 Woodchuck Chipper model W/C 17-4B39, a 2008 Scag 52-inch Hydro walk-behind mower, a 2010 DR field/brush mower, and a 1989 John Deere 265 tractor.

The wood chipper has “Town of Beacon Falls” written on the chute and is yellow, police said.

Beacon Falls First Selectman Chris Bielik said the theft occurred sometime overnight Tuesday into Wednesday. The theft was reported shortly after 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday by a public works employee.

Bielik estimated the value of the equipment stolen to be about $25,000 to $35,000.

Police believe multiple suspects were involved and multiple vehicles were used in the burglary due to the size of the equipment that was stolen.

Minor vandalism and break-ins have occurred somewhat regularly at the Pent Road Recreation Complex, but nothing to the extent of the theft from Matthies Park. The town has money designated to make security improvements, including to install surveillance cameras at the recreation complex and the public works garage on Lopus Road.

Bielik said officials didn’t discuss security at Matthies Park because the Pent Road Recreation Complex has been at the center of the issues. He said upgrading security at Matthies Park is something officials will certainly discuss moving forward.

Board of Finance Chairman Joe Rodorigo said it’s possible some of the designated money could be used to improve security at Matthies Park or money could be used from the town’s general fund to do so, with the approval of the Board of Selectmen and finance board.

Anyone with information on the burglary is asked to contact Beacon Falls Resident State Trooper Humberto Henriques at 203-729-3313 or Connecticut State Police Troop I at 203-393-4200.