TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) - Vandals tore a destructive path through parts of Tonawanda while on a dangerous late night joyride, using stolen equipment.
City of Tonawanda Police say there's so much damage that this couldn't have been orchestrated by just one person. The culprits broke into a landfill and operated heavy machinery, some weighing about 70,000 pounds.
Police say at least two suspects stole the equipment, tore up the landscape and mangled a fence, then drove it around a quarter mile away to WSF Industries on Hackett Drive, where they dug a hole around three feet deep.
Detective Joseph Scarpena said, "I've been a policeman for 26 years and I've never gone behind a building and seen an abandoned excavator sitting there with a hole."
Police believe this wasn't the work of kids just pulling a prank.
"I believe someone definitely knew how to run that machine. It's not something that just anybody can do," Detective Scarpena said.
The suspects started their midnight joyride by taking out six heavy pieces of machinery kept in a barbed wire fence. They left a loader stuck in a berm and excavator at WSF Industries. Now crews are working to clean up the mess by filling in the ruts and putting up a new fence.
Officials say the vandals caused thousands of dollars in damage and the clean up will take weeks. In the meantime, police are on the lookout for who did this.
"We canvassed the neighborhood and we did get some neighbors who heard tractors running about quarter after 12 last night or this morning. But nobody saw anything, that's our problem right now," Detective Scarpena said.
Though police say they do not have any suspects right now, they were able to collect evidence at the scene to analyze.
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