LINCOLN, Maine — Police were searching Tuesday for thieves who stole as much as $20,000 in construction tools this past weekend from the Health Access Network building site on West Broadway.
The theft, Police Chief William Flagg said, occurred sometime after the last workers left the site Friday evening. It was discovered when workers returned Monday morning.
Apparently, a large black 2007 utility trailer bearing Maine utility license plate A949587 and containing all the tools was stolen when the thieves hooked it to a large vehicle, possibly a pickup truck, and hauled it away, Flagg said.
“We are seeking public assistance in investigating this crime,” Flagg said Tuesday. “Anyone who saw a vehicle pulling a black trailer after 5 p.m. Friday should give us a call.”
Police can be reached at 794-8455. Sgt. Kevin Giberson is the lead investigator. All calls will be kept confidential.
Health Access Network and the building’s contractors are about halfway through building the 28,000-square-foot, two-story building at 175 West Broadway for primary care, mental health, podiatry, OB-GYN specialties and administrative services.
It is adjacent to the Lincoln Maine Federal Credit Union at 171 West Broadway.
The new building will help Health Access Network add 10 new jobs — including three primary-care doctors and two mental health professionals — to its 90-worker payroll. Health Access officials hope the project will spur more additions to the Lincoln Lakes region’s medical community.
With Bangor Savings Bank serving as the funding guarantor, the facility will have 23 exam rooms, 10 more than Health Access’ current offices, including a new state-of-the-art computerized records system that it will share with Penobscot Valley Hospital of Lincoln and Millinocket Regional Hospital, among others.
If all goes well, the new center will open in spring 2009. Health Access Network is a federally funded community health center that handles 13,000 patients, or 50,000 visits, annually.
The theft will not significantly delay the building’s construction, Flagg said. He encouraged construction companies to do whatever they can to protect their work sites, including chaining down equipment.
“In my experience with this kind of crime, the thefts are crimes of opportunity,” Flagg said. “Anything you can do to deter the opportunity, or the appearance of it, you should do.”
One significant safeguard: Engrave or stencil all tools with identifying serial numbers or names and catalog the numbers and tools. That way, if a theft occurs, victims can give police a means to find and return stolen materials, Flagg said.