Scranton DPW Building Burglarized

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SCRANTON -- Someone tried to steal a snowplow from the DPW complex this past weekend, according to police.

Officials from Scranton's Department of Public Works were scratching their heads Monday morning when they saw the surveillance video showing a man taking a short ride in a plow truck around the parking lot.

Then, police say, he burglarized the building.

If the security cameras atop the DPW building on West Poplar Street recorded audio, in the video you'd hear the truck beeping and the snowplow dragging across the ground when an intruder took the plow truck on an apparent joy ride around the lot Sunday afternoon.

That's why DPW director Mark Dougher said it was hard to believe that part of the crook's caper went undetected.

"If he wanted to bust out the gate he would have done it. I don't know what he was trying to do," Dougher said.

After his ride in the plow truck was over, another security camera caught the burglar breaking in to the DPW garage.

The crook left behind a couple of broken windows and DPW workers said he got away with a computer and some cash.

"I thought the worst, like he's going to go through the offices, damage walls and the building, rip things down, turn things on that aren't supposed to be on. And, we really found out just a broken piece of glass in our office area," Dougher added.

Dougher said there was a lot more the burglar could have stolen, raising the question, why was he there in the first place?

The burglary happened in broad daylight, around 2:00 p.m. Sunday. Police say a neighbor was walking his dog nearby and saw the man trying to break in. Police were on the scene in a matter of minutes, but the burglar had already made his way out the back door.

Police say the burglary in the middle of the afternoon was pretty brazen. The burglar's ride in the plow truck, though, that didn't take a lot of skill. The keys were left inside.

And, police think if the crook could figure out how to lift the plow, he may have driven off.

DPW officials say the city plow trucks were being serviced for the upcoming winter season. That's why the keys were left inside.

Police are asking anyone with information to give them a call.