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Contractor 'kicked while down'
Two stolen work trailers found, but building materials now missing from job site

John McFadden
Northern News Services
Friday, May 22, 2015

A Yellowknife contractor says he now knows what it feels like to be kicked while being down.

NNSL photo/graphic

Contractor Jim Shannahan stands in front of a building on his job site near the airport where lumber was reportedly stolen over the weekend. This follows the theft of Shannahan's two work trailers from the site in early April. He recovered the trailers but is still out his tools and now the lumber. - John McFadden/NNSL photo

Jim Shannahan has finally recovered both work trailers that were stolen from him late last month.

But he is still without his tools that were inside one of them, and now the lumber that his client had bought for him to use in the construction of a building out near the airport has also been stolen.

"I got a call Sunday that someone had stolen a bunch of plywood and two-by-fours over the weekend from the job site," Shannahan said.

He said he is still out an estimated $30,000 in tools that were inside one of the trailers.

"Even if I had my tools and wanted to get going on this job to try to recover some of my losses, I can't because now the lumber has been stolen," he said.

His dump trailer, valued at about $15,000 was found a week ago Sunday in a gravel pit near Prosperous Lake, Shannahan said.

"A tip came in from two brothers who have a cabin at Cassidy Point. They said they saw a black truck drop the trailer off," Shannahan said. "They cut the hitch of my trailer, they cut the electrical harness off my trailer and they cut the safety chains off."

That trailer and an enclosed trailer that held his tools were stolen on April 26 from a job site just past the entrance to the airport, just metres from Highway 3. RCMP confirmed officers were investigating the theft but gave no further details.

The culprits must have used two vehicles, Shannahan said.

"The RCMP went through surveillance video and they know that a grey Dodge pick-up was hauling one of the trailers but they don't have the licence plate on the tape," Shannahan said.

He got his work trailer back on April 29 after chartering a helicopter to go look for it.

The pilot spotted it in a gravel pit about 30 kilometres west of the city off Highway 3, Shannahan said.

"The two trailers were 60 to 65 kilometres apart when they were found," he said.

Shannahan figures he is still out about $50,000 to $60,000.

"I'm still missing $30,000 in tools plus all my expenses to fix the trailers, the cost of chartering the helicopter and hiring the tow truck to bring the trailers back to Yellowknife.

Shannahan said his $2,000 reward still stands for anyone who can provide information that leads to the arrest of those responsible for the theft.

"If they don't want to call me or they want to remain anonymous, they can contact Crime Stoppers," he said.

Shannahan who came to Yellowknife from Newfoundland 27 years ago, said he planned to return home this summer. He said those plans are on hold because of the financial hit he has taken.

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