Vandals Damaged or Stole About a 1/2 Million Dollars of Construction Equipment Near Myers Flat

West Coast Contractors working in Southern Humboldt.

West Coast Contractors working in Southern Humboldt. [Photo from West Coast Contractors’ website]

On November 24, the California Highway Patrol received a report that vandals had damaged or stolen a number of pieces of equipment and tools from a contractor and a subcontractor working on an emergency wall construction project on Hwy 101 between Myers Flat and Weott. The vandalism happened over the Thanksgiving holiday.

According to Lt. Fridley of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office that also received a report, the loss to the two contractors is expected to top $500,000. When contacted, both contractors agreed their total losses would likely reach that sum.

Ron Kutch, a spokesperson for West Coast Contractors, described a mess that included dirt in diesel tanks, windows broken out of multiple pieces of equipment, busted locks, ignitions punched and tires slashed. The worse damage, he said, was done to the expensive horizontal drill rig owned by D.J. Scheffler and Nye.

Dale Scheffler, the subcontractor on the job, said, “The damage on my machine is at least $100,000… The horizontal drill rig is totally disabled.”

He was dismayed by the rage shown. He explained, “[The vandals] targeted the heart of the machine…[The damage was] like stabbing a person in the heart and putting a nail in each limb, toe, and finger. Because it is a machine, it is repairable but if it was a man, it would be dead.”

Scheffler doesn’t know why their job site was targeted. He speculated, “Someone went in there and was very angry with somebody I guess. Maybe someone is trying to scare us…They targeted the whole job.”

The vandal/s took a lot of time and energy in order to do so much damage at the site. Scheffler said, “[The vandals] hand drilled into hydraulic lines…They tried to drill holes even into the electrical stuff.”

This doesn’t just damage the contractors’ bottom line, he said. “It hurts when it happens.” And it isn’t just his company and West Coast Contracting that suffers, he said. “The insurance company, the state, everyone has to pay,” he pointed out.

But, he is undaunted. “We’re doing what we can to get running,” he said. The horizontal drill rig is being shipped to Benicia where it will be quickly repaired. “We are going to have to put a guard out there,” he added. “We’ll be back on line working in a few days…We do really like working there…We want to go back to work.”

Then, just as the conversation was ending, he said reassuringly, “It is unfortunate that there are people out there who do this but there are still a lot more good people than there are bad. So, hey, don’t get down about it.”

Below is a partial list from West Coast Contractors of their losses. Many, though not all, of the stolen items will be marked with their initials, WCC. The list does not include losses suffered by D.J. Scheffler and Nye:

Equipment damage

2002 International water truck.

Wing window broken, CB radio removed.

2017 Kubota SVL 95 Skid steer.

Lock on door punched out. Ignition switch punched out. Damage to console.

2010 Gehl DL1240H fork lift.

Both side windows broken out. Both front tires slit on sidewall.

2017 Kobelco CK1100 G-2 Crane

Side glass on operators cab 2 pieces broken. Dent in operators door also dented.


Equipment stolen

1 ea. Milwaukee Sawzall, assorted blades and case.

1 ea. Hogan slugger mag drill, case and assorted bits.

2 ea. Skill mag 77 Skil saws

1 ea. Bosch Bulldog roto hammer, case and bits.

1 ea. Stihl 18” chainsaw Serial # 513057405

1 ea. Husqvarna chain saw

1 ea. Honda 6500 generator, Serial # EASJ-1013142

1 ea. Hitachi NR90 nail gun

2 ea. 3/8” x 50’ air hose

1 ea. 24” smart level.





  • So sorry for your equipment getting vandalized ,and stolen due to the heroin Tweakers down there in so hum stealing anything they can get there hands on .go to known dope houses to get your hand tools back ,but getting the cops to help I wish u good luck with that .it also sucks that they had to vandelize .So sorry for your loss.

  • On behalf of the grammar police let me say that possibly the vandals “stole” some equipment, but they have not “stole” it, they have “stolen” it. It the “had” in your sentence that turns stole into stolen. I suggest you either remove the “had” or add an “n” to stole.

    If you would rather not hear from the grammar police, let me know and I’ll direct their efforts elsewhere.

    That aside there does seem to be something personal about the type and extent of the damage done. Anyone get fired recently? Looking forward to more of your excellent coverage. I turn to your news before checking any other source.

  • The pump don’t work
    “Cause the vandals took the handles

  • tired of all this

    Pretty disgusting. People complain about the road, then wreck the equipment that is fixing it.
    Very sorry for the folks who work hard and get robbed. We should be better, just as human beings.

    • I agree… it’s that “proposition”!!!! . they’re not held to responsibly for their actions . therefore they have no consequences to suffer for… let’s hear it for the hard-working man, damn it just tired of all this tweaker bullcrap… Just saying sorry for my rant

      • What prop! I am so over people blaming something that is not the cause for everything. This is a huge crime we are talking about here not a tiny car theft or something. I believe if it is over 940 in stuff taken then it is a larger crime. And as for the enforcement of snappy thefts. I happen to be present when a local business had a woman’s pic and she had shoved all kinds of stuff down her pants. I encouraged them to call the cops and report. They came and she was arrested. I did not ask the specifics of the amount taken but I’m pretty sure it was under 940…. I am so over everyone blaming the prop and never doing anything about the problem. It is better to call every misdemeanor in and get it on their record, if for no other reason than to discourage the next criminal from praying on our community. Unless I missed something no prop is to blame here.

        • Um people voted the prop in. So yes people and the prop are to blam. Mostly the Bay Area…they fuk up everything for California. [edit] who live in a distorted eutopia dillusion that drug addicts and criminals are not the problem.

          But…my argument is futile,im white and I voted,there for I have been Labled A Nazi

          • Can I say Daisy’s instead of panzys kym?

          • 1. Sigh. Your republicans are the ones who consistently vote DOWN prison funding, O.K.?
            2. There are criminals everywhere. Hardly unique to our great state.
            3. If multiple people are calling you a nazi, there is probably a reason.

            • Hrmm maybe if such a large amount of a population is deemed crimminals the laws should be changed, freedom for all not just for those that believe like you. I find it hard to think that the answer to todays problems are locking up and housing so many people , sitting there wasting away such a sad waste of life

    • I . Totally agree. no empathy no sympathy no compassion… they are drugged-out heartless Souls

      • So you know who did this ? Since you know so much about them. Or are you just adding more drama on those “others” without any proof ? Just because you dont like a certain type of person, doesnt give you the right to accuse those of every crime that they might or might not have commited. You remember the old saying about pointing fingers, there are always more pointing back at you.

  • Let’s not forget the workers that will likely go unpaid for days missed.

  • All that stuff added up is about 10 grand the workers are commiting insurance fraud and have to make a police report

    • How do you know what it`s going to cost to repair the drilling machine? I can`t find anything specific here other than it`s heavily damaged. Do you have any other info? Perhaps an itemized list of your estimated cost would elucidate this.

    • @dirtywhiteboy You clearly have never repaired equipment…

      • Lock kits are around 150 per lock plus .5 hour labor glass is under 5 k for all mentioned , so with the exceptions some dents and needing to repair crane , well under 10 k , now lets talk crane , hyd line are spendy but not to bad , lets say 15 hoses at a cost of around 15k to be generous and lets say 20 hours to replace at what 85 a hour , then recert machine . Still well under 100k let alone 500k

        • I didn’t list every detail and you didn’t add costs for all the problems.

          • Well i didnt price out everything you listed either , still not all that much, cb radio, 200 tops installed , 2 tires under 1k installed . Guess it just depends on how you repair it, but dents happen with equipment .

    • Hu mmmmm mr. Know it all seems kind of fishy

    • If you read the entire article the list is only for West Coast Contractors and does not include the loss to D.J. Scheffler and Nye so it could reach $500,000 for repairs and replacements.

  • Wonder if the company has looked into past employees and anybody they fired! Just a thought… or maybe a competitor lost the bid on the job and hired a low life to do the damage. Pretty sad to see Humboldt go down hill so fast !!!

  • Drugs brings out a lot of things in individuals but working this hard to sabotage, destroy equipment and steal tools usually isn’t one of them. I believe it’s closer to home at the contractor(s) door?

    • Maybe the contractor wasnt going to make completetion date and is trying to not lose his shirt on the job. That or some misguided epic folk.

      • I suppose that is possible. But, without any proof, you are suggesting what looks to be a victim could be a perpetrator. Doesn’t that worry you? I know if I were the victim of a crime and someone suggested that I actually did the crime, I would feel doubly assaulted.

        • The key here is “The vandal/s took a lot of time and energy in order to do so much damage at the site”. That likely rules out local kids, even tweekers. Hand drilling in to a hydraulic line takes patience. I believe it might be called environmental terrorism. The anger against the realignment of Richardson Grove, while warranted, may have just turned much more serious. While violence is never the answer, it is frequently the solution, however misguided it is.

          • Anyone who condones law breaking because they are angry at a wrong and thinks that is an answer needs to be very careful about defining ‘wrong.’ Way, way too often what is really called a wrong is simply opinion, which angers when it is dismissed.

          • its also called insurance fraud. machine drilling through drill rig mechanical equipment can be performed locally at East Bay Hydraulics and North Coast Fabricators.

        • Well i would much rather have a system, where people in general were innocent until there was proven guilt. But imo most seem to have their own little section of persons they hate, so those get accused right out the gate before the crime was even proven.
          I would bet this was something very differant than tweaker crime though,.

      • Emergency Work projects aren’t put out to bid. There aren’t set working days or a completion date. Caltrans pays labor+material+mark-up until they feel the project is satisfactory.

  • Set up some old pos “bait” equipment and rig them with small explosives. Boom….problem solved and eliminated!

  • Lost Croat Outburst

    OK with me, Ed. We’re the Justice League of Language. Friggin’ aye yeah!

  • Inside job, someone pissed someone else off REALLY bad.

  • Antifa ? Just a thought!

  • Could have been the monkey wrench gang.

  • I hope these assholes get caught,been there done that. We know how they feel. So so sorry.we have also had the same shit happen to us. Took us awhile to get over it. Thank goodness things can be repaired and replaced but at a cost to all of us. This kind of childish behavior hurts all of us. Work will continue you’ve stopped things for a moment.

  • This seems a little more aggressive than just a simple vandalizing.

    On a side note, the tools stolen should be tools that the workers take home with them or have locked in a lock box of some sort. Not blaming or any crap like that. Thats just the first thing I thought of when reading the list.

  • perhaps somebody thought the damage to the equipment was less than what was being done to the earth…

    • Luddites? NIMBYs?

      I feel that many pot grows are damaging to the earth yet their users brush that off as an inconvenient truth. As long as it serves their wants.

  • Curious if the contractor worked Friday of the Holiday weekend?
    I traveled out of area and noticed people that were on sight but found it odd they worked through the Holiday

  • it was either an #insidejob or the #russiancollusion

  • F*kn thieves! Want the road fixed? Then leave the contractor’s stuff alone! I hate thieves!

  • Sad to hear what happened. Why not have a Camera or 2 on such expensive equipment? Just Sayin…. will be worth the investment. As far as the Grammar Nazis out there…. take a chill pill, PLEASE!!

  • Her today, gone tomorrow…Bummer

    • I know one thing: none of us bloggers did this. We have too much integrity. Sarcasm absolutely NOT intended. Thank you good people: there are way too few of you.

  • Damn what assholes..they were probably neighbors downhill and your work severed their decades old waterlines illegally supplying their gardens downhill. Had to go broke buying water this year..what assholes.

  • some of you folks have very active imaginations…

  • Saw a pretty ragady dude walking north of Redway with what appeared to be a pretty nice/new Stihl chainsaw. Def not something a random homeless dude would drop 500 bucks on. Keep your eyes peeled folks.

  • Maybe with all that equipment they should hire a security guard at night.
    Who leaves all that investment unattended?

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