$70,000 worth of equipment taken from Marlboro Co. school - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

$70,000 worth of equipment taken from Marlboro Co. school

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BLENHEIM, SC (WMBF) - $70,000 worth of equipment was stolen from the cafeteria of a Marlboro County school over the weekend.

Industrial grade appliances from ovens to stand up coolers were stolen from the site for the future Blenheim Elementary Middle School.

Investigators collected evidence, but are asking for the public's assistance since the construction site is a high traffic area. They believe the thieves were driving a box truck or a pick up with a trailer. Police say these are not commonly stolen items, and suspect the culprits will try to use them or sell them to someone opening up a new restaurant.

Authorities say any information will help and encourage neighbors to report any suspicious activity in the area. In the mean time, extra patrols will be added in an effort to promise a smooth opening for students.

"Marlboro County has sought this school for a long time, and the times we're in now, trying to recover from a $70,000 dollar loss is great," says Investigator Shawn Feldner with the Marlboro County Sheriff's Office.

A school spokesperson says the school has been under construction for almost two years. About 600 students will attend classes there each year.

"To know the efforts that have been put in and the equipment that is here to serve the students of the county, and now that has been dashed," says Tim Brown, Superintendent of Construction.

Brown says construction has already delayed the original opening date for the school, and hopes this loss will not extend the date even further.

"At this point the general contractor has been talking with the supplier about replacement equipment and trying to get a date when that can be obtained," explains Brown.

A spokesperson for the school says the district plans to use their insurance to cover the loss. Authorities ask that anyone with information call 843-479-5605.

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