£50,000 excavator burned out in arson attack at stone yard

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Plant hire boss Tim Scott in front of the burned out excavator Plant hire boss Tim Scott in front of the burned out excavator

A company boss is offering a reward after yobs burned out a £50,000 excavator at a Bradford stoneyard.

The arsonists destroyed the specialist machine after placing wooden pallets beneath it and setting them alight.

The firebugs struck after getting on to the stoneyard at an industrial estate in Bradford Road, Idle, at the weekend.

Tim Scott, director of Pudsey-based Scott Plant Hire, which owns the excavator, said the arson attack was devastating.

Mr Scott said: “We now have a driver sat twiddling his thumbs because he has got nothing to drive. If we can’t get the machine replaced quickly we may have to lay him off, or even make him redundant.

“We work very hard. This has cost us a lot of money and it could cost this man his job.”

Mr Scott said those responsible were “worthless yobs”.

He said: “All we are trying to do is earn a living in a fair and proper way. Everybody is upset by this. People like this shouldn’t be allowed to get away with it.”

The two-year-old excavator, a Komatsu PC130 which costs £75,000 to buy new, was being hired, with its driver, for a three-day stone-clearing job.

It had been left at the stone yard on Saturday and at about midnight residents called firefighters after seeing the excavator engulfed in flames.

Mr Scott said: “The excavator is a complete write off. It will cost £50,000 to replace it with a second hand vehicle, and another £2,500 just to remove the burned-out one.

“We have reported the situation to our insurers and we are meeting the police tomorrow. We are also putting up posters in the area, offering a £500 reward for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.”

Police are going to study CCTV footage in the hope of identifying any suspects.

A police spokesman said: “We can confirm we are investigating this incident and would appeal to anyone who saw anything suspicious, or has any information about who is responsible to contact us on 101, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.”

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