LETCHER COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - Update 9:30 p.m.
$50,000 worth of equipment is now gone and one local contractor is offering a $5,000 cash reward to anyone who can help his get it back.
It was Monday morning when Greg Hale began working on a construction project in the Linefork community of Letcher County.
Tuesday morning, he says he was shocked when he arrived at the site.
"We went in there to work that morning. It wasn't like we were there for a week", said Greg Hale, who is the owner of Greg Hale LLC. General Construction. "Nobody had no time to come in there and find us. Whoever done it is local people."
$50,000 worth of parts stolen and other equipment at the site was found vandalized.
"Rage... yeah, just rage", Hale said as he described his feelings after learning what happened.
Hale says the repairs and replacement parts are something he will have to pay for out of pocket.
"Same as coming to my house, holding a gun on me, taking $50,000 from me. No difference", said Hale.
Hale believes the thieves knew what they were doing and have had experience around the kind of heavy machinery like what he uses.
"Probably three to five hours at a minimum to do this", said Hale. "And they had to have some pretty good tools. Some way of lifting the winch. It weighs probably in excess of 3,000 pounds."
Even though he calls the theft a 'gut punch', he says he and his business will persevere.
"We won't let it destroy us but it's a major blow. We'll overcome, but it's hard times", said Hale. "I mean, we scrape and struggle just like everyone else."
Hale is offering a $5,000 reward for any information that can help him get his equipment back.
Kentucky State Police is investigating the case.
They say they are checking all pawn shops and scrap yards in the area for the gear.
Call Post 13 in Hazard if you have any information in the case.
A contractor in Letcher County went to work Tuesday morning, only to find out that thieves targeted his equipment.
The thieves took more than $50,000 worth of equipment. Now the contractor, Greg Hale, is offering a $5,000 reward for information about the theft.
One of the pieces stolen off his bulldozer is a winch, one that costs about $35,000.
Hale believes these are trained thieves who are familiar with the equipment. The stolen wench weighs close to 3,000 pounds.
"I've got a $5,000 cash reward to anybody that can help me retrieve my stuff or like I said, at this point, I really want to know who got my stuff," Hale said. "I feel the same as you come to my house and rob me. I mean, that's no different in my mind."
Hale said this theft hit him personally. All the equipment that needs to be replaced is coming directly out of his pocket.
Kentucky State Police troopers said it is standard procedure in these kinds of investigations to check all local scrap yards and pawn shops.