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Thief steals front-loader, makes slow getaway in Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls police are on the lookout for a slow-rolling bandit.

The thief made his or her getaway behind the wheel of a diesel-powered front-end loader from a road reconstruction site on Lockport Street earlier this week, according to a police report.

The heavy equipment - it weighs about 15 tons and has a top speed of about 20 mph - was last seen parked near the corner of Michigan Avenue and Lockport, an employee of Accadia Site Contracting told police Wednesday afternoon. An employee of the Depew company who reported the theft said the last time he saw it was Monday when he filled it with diesel. Nobody on the crew had reported any keys missing for the heavy hauler, a 2002 Komatsu, the project manager told police.

Paul Marinaccio, owner of Acadia Site Contracting, said he believes the thief was "a professional" who probably hauled it away on a lowboy trailer.

"I don't think they'll ever find it," Marinaccio said.

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