Opportunity Enterprises’ property hit by thieves
By Erin Guerra Post-Tribune correspondent January 17, 2013 2:40PM
Updated: February 19, 2013 3:08PM
LAKE ELIZA — Opportunity Enterprises’ expansion at its Fish Lake property was struck by thieves again overnight Monday.
Subcontractors arriving at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday at 29 S. Fish Lake St. discovered all the copper piping on the site — including that already installed and more in storage in an attic — had been stolen. Tools and equipment also were stolen from a number of subcontractors, and the project manager was working to compile a list for police. He gave a conservative estimate of “well over $10,000” worth of tools stolen, and another $10,000 loss for the copper.
According to the police report, a locked door to the apartment building had been pried open at its latch, and a number of five-gallon buckets had been stacked to make a ladder to access the attic.
Project Manager Adam Puequetof Chester Inc. told officers the culprit appeared to know what he was going for and had to have spent “a decent amount of time to get all of the equipment and pipes loaded into a truck or trailer.”
Although an Opportunity Enterprises representative told police the surrounding community does not in general like the organizations’ existing facility, which includes a day services center for adults and children with disabilities, or the apartments being built.
A number of vandalism occurrences, including slurs against those with handicaps, and small thefts have been reported since construction began.
This job, however, appears to have been done by professionals, Puequet said, noting the burglars knew what items and equipment “were likely to net easy cash payouts.”
Workers continued with the construction while police took the burglary report.