Burglars hit Eagle construction sites
When Jorge De La Cruz arrived Monday morning at the Eagle Ranch construction site where he’s employed, he couldn’t work because all of the tools had been stolen. “They took about $10,000 worth of equipment from a trailer,” said De La Cruz, a subcontractor at a job site along Haystacker Drive. “They didn’t leave much. And we didn’t have insurance.”At another job site about 50 yards away, a large metal toolbox was mangled.”They ripped off the boxes and the trailer,” said Mike Guzik, a general contractor at the site. “Some of the guys had to go buy new tools.”
The two construction sites in Eagle Ranch were among several burglarized Saturday night, said Eagle Police Chief Rick Sliger. As of Monday afternoon, police had confirmed four sites where trailers and tool boxes were broken into. Missing tools included compressors, skill saws, drills and laser tools.”We believe there could be as many as six places hit,” Sliger said. “We’re still interviewing people and we expect more cases to come up as people realize their stuff is missing.”Although they haven’t made any arrests yet, Sliger said police have some leads.”We’re still compiling a list of things taken. Some sites lost $10,000 worth of tools and others $25,000. It wouldn’t surprise me if the total is more than $50,000,” Sliger said.As police continued interviewing victims on Monday, De La Cruz and other workers managed to work, thanks to Larry Woodley, a general contractor who loaned them tools.
“I never got insurance. I’ve worked in construction here for more than 10 years and nothing ever happened,” De La Cruz said.Other contractors, however, said they’ve been hit by tool thieves before.”They got us last year for $15,000, but police got those guys, and I had insurance,” Woodley said.Guzik, who has worked in construction for more than 20 years in the Vail Valley, also said it has happened to him before. “Everyone in construction has been ripped off at least once,” Guzik said. “It has happened to us even in Cordillera, where they have security. These are professional thieves.
“The sad part is these guys need to make a living and now they have to go and buy new tools,” Guzik added.This is the first time in recent history that something like this has happened in Eagle, Sliger said.”The town of Eagle has historically been free of crime. We’re taking this pretty seriously,” SIiger said. “On Sunday, soon after we got the first call, we canvassed the entire neighborhood. We will make sure that it doesn’t happen again.” If you have any information on this case, call Eagle Police Chief Rick Sliger at 328-6351.Veronica Whitney can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 454 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.