Crane theft ‘detrimental to business’

By Ivy Jensen

A SPECIALTY crane has been stolen from a work site between Echuca and Kyabram.

The 1988 12T articulated Franna Crane was parked at Yambuna Bridge on Friday night and when employees returned to work on Monday, it was gone.

Focus Engineering and Construction’s Marlene Fischer said the company was repairing the bridge after Moira Shire Council had issued a public road closure notice.

‘‘People were still driving around the road signs/blocks, so it was decided that bunting wouldn’t suffice so to make the construction site safe, the crane was parked on the approach to the bridge at Yambuna Bridge Rd,’’ she said.

‘‘At the end of the day on Friday, our employees left the site with the keys to crane and returned home to Corowa for the weekend.’’

About 9.30am Monday, they arrived to find the crane missing.

‘‘Our guys spoke to the neighbours who said they saw a white ute about 7am and then a short time later heard the crane start up but just presumed it was us returning to site,’’ Marlene said.

The crane was last seen heading south at the intersection of Curr Rd and the Murray Valley Hwy.

Cobram police is asking anyone who was driving on the Murray Valley Hwy about 7.45-8am Monday who saw the stolen vehicle to call them on 5871 1977 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Marlene said the crane, which has a speader bar and lifting gear in the toolboxes, was worth about $100,000.

‘‘This has been detrimental to our business as replacing this crane usually is very time consuming and costly even though it is insured,’’ she said.

‘‘This also affects onsite programming for both labour and plant/equipment.’’

Focus Engineering is offering a $1000 reward for information that leads to the recovery of the crane, NSW registration ZFW065, undamaged.