Thieves target heavy machinery for costly parts

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Heavy machinery used for construction work is being stripped of vital parts in the middle of the night, with several incidents of such theft being reported from the outskirts of the city.

Equipment like excavators and heavy bulldozers are usually left at work sites after work. But recently, workers have turned up the next day to find compressors, engine parts and other bits and pieces missing.

Nouaf Al Marri, a businessman, said he owns nine excavators he sends out to different sites. Machine operators leave the equipment on the work site so as to cut down operational expenses and to ensure they are in place for the following day's work. It is only lately cases of parts being stolen have occurred.

"Last week, one of my excavators was found to have been stripped of its electronics and other valuable parts. The thieves broke the windows to gain access. Later, I found there were other victims who faced the same problem," said Al Marri.

A single machine part can cost as much as QR20,000 and it would be difficult for an ordinary thief to sell such parts. "This makes it clear there is an organised ring at work and it is crucial the police start solving these cases," said Al Marri.

A manager of a contracting company said the repeated thefts of machinery parts had caused concern among owners of heavy machinery. Some are even turning down lucrative contracts simply because the work sites are in remote areas.

One manager of a construction company said they had decided to suspend all work until the culprits are arrested.

The Pen