O'FALLON, Ill. - A thief used a huge piece of construction equipment to plow through an O'Fallon, Illinois car wash. Police say an 80,000 pound trackhoe excavator was stolen from a construction site, and driven about a half-mile to a local car wash.
The owner of Easy Street Auto got an early morning call Sunday from the O'Fallon Police Department, saying that there was a large piece of equipment in his parking lot and damage to the property.
"You look at the size of this machine, and this bucket sitting on the ground and it's like 'oh my,'" William Spiller, the owner of Easy Street Auto Wash, said.
Spiller says he feels blessed. When he saw the size of the trackhoe, he realized that the entire car wash could well have been destroyed.
"Only God saved us, I mean, I'm telling you, we just had no chance," he said.
Surveillance cameras snapped a photo of a male subject in a dark hoodie sweatshirt. Spiller says he believes the suspect was startled by a witness on the property and that he then ran off.
"They knew exactly where the car wash was, had a game plan, they tracked it down," said David Baxmeyer, President of Baxmeyer Construction in Waterloo, Illinois.
David Baxmeyer is the owner of the trackhoe, which was being used for a project just a half-a-mile down the road from the car wash. He thinks this attack was carefully planned.
"Somebody with some operating skills that do what they need, where they took, they obviously knew what they were doing," he says.
Spiller spent the last couple of days cleaning up the debris. He says he's not letting the thief get in his way.
"We're open for business and we're here to wash cars."
An inspector has been out to the property and found the building itself to be structurally sound.