Pricey construction equipment stolen from Hialeah Gardens business

HIALEAH GARDENS, FLA. (WSVN) - Two backhoes and two dump trucks valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars were stolen from a Hialeah Gardens construction company, Sunday afternoon, and the manager believes it was an inside job.

Blas Riesgo, the manager at Mears Construction, showed 7News surveillance video showing the perpetrators driving away in the dump trucks with the backhoes attached to them in trailers. “That’s the dump truck and a combination rubber tire backhoe,” he said.

“It’s tough. That’s the equipment we all use to bring food to our families,” Riesgo added.

The managers at Mears Construction said the burglary took place at around 4:30 p.m. “Obviously, it’s someone who used to work here or knows the gate code,” said Riesgo.

The footage shows the gate opening and one man running inside. Moments later, a second subject is seen walking in carrying a bag filled with what could be tools.

About an hour later, the thieves are seen driving away in the stolen trucks and trailers. Riesgo said the total value of the stolen equipment is about $440,000.

Riesgo showed 7News a backhoe identical to the ones that were stolen. “They’re estimated at about $80,000 apiece,” he said.

Investigators said a late model, dark-colored Cadillac SRX seen driving away as the gate closed could be the thieves’ getaway car.

Workers said the perpetrators ripped the company logos off the trucks’ doors before taking them.

The construction superintendent said the tracking devices on the vehicles were also cut off. “They either hot-wired it or got it started somehow,” said Riesgo as he showed 7News a dump truck like the ones that were stolen.

Employees said they worry the backhoes could already be in a shipping container headed to South America. They said they hope someone recognizes the men in the video.

“It’s frustrating, you know. Guys out there want to make a quick buck, and it ends up hurting 43 other employees who live off of this equipment,” said Riesgo.

The company is offering a $5,000 reward for anyone with information. If you have any information on this crime, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for an additional reward.

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