NBC10 Philadelphia - Deanna Durante
Police say vandals trashed a construction site where crews are working on sewer lines and storm drains for I-95. Not only did the vandals damage the equipment, but they also drove some of it into the Delaware River. NBC10's Deanna Durante reports.
Police are searching for vandals who they say targeted a construction site in the Tacony section of the city.
It happened between Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. and Thursday at 7 a.m., according to investigators. Police say a person or people entered a construction site at 6600 State Road and vandalized construction equipment, including a crane, bulldozer and compressors owned by the Walsh Construction Company.
Police say the vandals ripped the equipment up and pushed it into the Delaware River, causing $3 million in damage. Nestor Martinez of Walsh Construction tells NBC10 he has never seen anything like it in his nearly 30-year career in the construction business.
“When we got to the gate, we didn’t see our equipment parked at the gate,” said Nestor Martinez of Walsh Construction. “That’s where we left it.”
Workers believe the vandals may have planned to set some of the equipment on fire. Officials with Walsh also believe the suspects are familiar with the equipment.
“All the machines were locked and they all have cover plates on them so they had keys to all the equipment,” said Martinez.
Work on the site continues though it has slowed down since the vandalism. The site is being used to dig drainage ditches in preparation for a massive I-95 construction project in which seven new bridges will be built on the highway beginning next month.
Martinez tells NBC10 police have found a few fingerprints on the equipment. The construction site is isolated with no witnesses or surveillance video. Walsh tells NBC10 they plan to have 24 hour surveillance at the construction site. Investigators also say this incident is the second time the site was vandalized. The first incident happened on Labor Day.
A $10,000 reward is being offered to anyone with information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.
If you have any information on this incident, please call the Crime Commission Tipline at 215-546-TIPS.