Wayne County deputies are investigating the theft of tools and other equipment from the N.C. Department of Transportation property on U.S. 70.
An unknown number of suspects broke into the DOT maintenance yard, at 2671 U.S. 70, sometime between the hours of 6 p.m. Monday and 5:30 a.m. Tuesday and took more than $3,000 in various tools, according to Wayne County Sheriff’s Office reports.
Deputies determined the suspects used cutting tools on a chain-link fence and entered the property in an off-road vehicle, such as an side-by-side or all-terrain vehicle.
The suspects stole a variety of tools from vehicles located on the property, including a yellow 2012 Chevy Silverado truck, a yellow 2012 Ford F-150 and a yellow 2014 Vann trailer. Most of the tools were taken from the trailer, officers said.
Sheriff’s deputies found tire tracks from an unknown off-road vehicle leaving the scene. The tracks led to N.C. 581 South and deputies continued following the tracks during the investigation.
Maj. Richard Lewis, with the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, said deputies have some investigative leads but do not have a description of the vehicles they are searching for at this time. He said people should keep an eye out for vehicles traveling off the road in the vicinity of the DOT property.
The suspects left $300 worth in damage to the chain-link fence and also took six orange and white chainsaws, worth anywhere from $300 to $400 each, and a $400 orange and white backpack leaf blower.
Lewis said there is no telling what the people are planning on doing with the chainsaws and leaf blower, but deputies are keeping an eye on websites where items are sold.
Lewis said the sheriff’s office takes a proactive approach and reviews websites regularly to see if any missing items appear.