A thief has absconded with a piece of heavy equipment in Delta.
It's yet another reflection of a growing wave of construction-site heists taking place across North America.
According to Delta police, a black and green 2018 John Deere mini excavator was taken from the west side shoulder and ditch alongside Highway 91.
It occurred just south of Nordel Way between 1 p.m. on October 20 and 10 a.m. on October 22.
The excavator was marked as belonging to Sunbelt Rentals.
According to an article on the Northbridge Insurance website, less than 25 percent of stolen construction equipment is recovered.
"They may seem unwieldy, but heavy machines and tools are surprisingly easy to steal, easy to hide, and easy to move," it stated.
The National Equipment Register estimates that $300 million to $1 billion in construction equipment—not including tools and building materials—is stolen every year in the United States.
"Additional costs associated with stolen construction equipment include renting replacement equipment, lost productivity, schedule delays and increased insurance premiums," wrote Kendall Jones on the constructconnect.com website. "Delays can lead to missed deadlines which can result in hefty penalties."
The LoJack Corporation Study on Construction Equipment Theft listed excavators as the fourth-most commonly stolen piece.
Ranking first was wheeled and tracked loaders, followed by towables (i.e. generators, air compressors, light towers, and cement mixers), and skid-steer loaders.