Thieves steal $100,000 in tools, equipment

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The Flathead County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the theft of more than $100,000 in tools and equipment, along with a heavy-duty service truck, from Glacier Stone Supply on Whitefish Stage Road.

The crime occurred sometime over the weekend.

Tony Kavanagh, Glacier Stone Supply manager, said a shop on the property was broken into, probably sometime Sunday night. The culprits broke some windows on the building, only to find they were barred. So they gained access through a trap door on the building used to bring air hoses outside.

Kavanagh said highly specialized tools used for stone work were taken. Some of them were personal belongings of employees.

“Either somebody knew what was in [the shop] or they just happened to stumble into the right building,” Kavanagh said. “It’s a big hit for a small company, and it’s really frustrating.”

Among the items taken were welders, air compressors, cordless power tools, chain saws and hand tools. The service truck is a with Ford F-450 that has a lift on the back bed, and it was equipped with a welder generator and a compressor.

“They may take all the tools out of it and leave it somewhere,” Kavanagh said of the thieves.

“It’s a fairly distinctive vehicle,” said Flathead County Sheriff Chuck Curry, who is urging the public to keep an eye out for it.

Curry said investigators still are waiting for a complete list of items taken. “We certainly have burglaries where significant items are taken,” he said. “I would say if the number lines up at $100,000, that is indeed a significant monetary loss.”

The loss of the truck as well as the equipment and tools have hindered the company’s productivity by about 20 percent. The truck has been used to maintain equipment at the 19 quarries the company operates in and around the Flathead Valley.

“We employ 55 people here in Evergreen. This affects jobs. It effects revenue. We have insurance, but we have a fairly high deductible,” Kavanagh said. 

Kavanagh said the company is offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible. 

“But we may bump [the award] up further just to get information that leads to the arrest ... of the suspects,” Kavanagh said. “We want to encourage the 97 percent of us that do the right thing every day to take some action and get these people off the street.”

Reporter Jim Mann may be reached at 758-4407 or by email at jmann@dailyinterlake.com.

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