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City’s backhoe stolen, recovered

A backhoe was stolen from Mustang's public works yard and later found in Wheatland. (Staff photo by Jon Watje)

A backhoe was stolen from Mustang’s public works yard and later found in Wheatland. (Staff photo by Jon Watje)

By Jon Watje
Managing Editor

A backhoe belonging to the City of Mustang was stolen and recovered last week.

Mustang’s public works contractor, Severn Trent, contacted police on Thursday, July 21 to report the stolen Caterpillar backhoe. The piece of equipment was stolen from the city’s public works department located on SW 59th Street on the northwest side of Wild Horse Park and later located in Wheatland.

“The keys were not left in it,” said Mustang Police Captain Jim Davis. “The keys for these things are pretty generic. It may have been driven on the back roads to Wheatland and whoever took it may have left it there to get a trailer to haul it off later. Or, it could have just been someone taking it for a joyride.”

The piece of equipment was stolen sometime between the afternoon of Wednesday, July 20 and 6 a.m. on the following day.

Just two hours after being reported stolen, the backhoe was located parked in a vacant business lot in the 7200 block of S. Council Road in Wheatland.

“It was in working condition and there was no damage done to it at all,” Davis said. “Right now, we have no leads on who took it.”

Assistant City Manager Justin Battles said the City was very happy to recover the backhoe, which was valued at approximately $250,000 according to the police report.

“We have had it for some time and purchased it from the county,” Battles said. “Believe it or not, heavy equipment gets stolen more than you would think and it has happened to other cities. This is our only backhoe and we use it a great deal, so we were very happy to get it back.”

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