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EMPLOYEES of GEMCO and Brand Inc. weren’t expecting their workday to start off with several items missing at the old Navy power substation in Mongmong.
According to Guam Power Authority spokesman Art Perez, thieves made their way to the property sometime over the weekend and stole material being used by the recycling company and GEMCO, which is currently contracted with GPA to handle a $2.9 million project to upgrade substation breakers and switches.
Ken Lape, of Brand Inc. Recycling and Salvage, said his crew were the first on the scene yesterday and noticed something different about the general area. He was told that valuable metals such as copper, brass and copper wire were taken.
“The vandals actually got to some of our equipment and stripped the wire off an old GPA overhead crane that we use to remove the different heavy parts of the old generator,” he said.
Lape pointed to suspected signs of entry, including one of two front gates where a forklift is located. The chain to the gate appeared to have been cut.
He also pointed out to another fenced area by the Chamorro Gardens apartment complex. “There’s a back road that’s used as a short cut and there’s a hole in the fence. It was cut and it was not there last week Friday,” he said.
He already knew something was wrong when he arrived when he got a look of concern from the contractor.
“They started to tell me everything they lost. There’s a 20-foot container of theirs where they store all the brass and electrical parts for the power lines,” he said.
Lape believes he lost about $6,000 worth of material. He will have to spend up to $4,000 to put the gantry crane back together. Lape lamented that he needs the crane to continue the company’s work.
“This is the lifeline of the project actually,” he said. “They cut it and just rolled it up. They took the batteries; they took some tools.”
Meanwhile, Eduardo Banayat, owner of GEMCO, said the stolen materials from the container will delay a project for GPA that was supposed be done July 30. Stolen from the container were connectors for breakers his crew is installing; copper; and cables for the connectors.
“These connectors aren’t ordinary connectors. They are brass,” he said, adding about $60,000 worth of items were lost from the theft.
“We want those materials recovered because if we do the ordering again, it’ll take a long time. They are special materials,” he said. “Now it’s all gone.”
Johnny Quinto, GPA special projects engineer, said the project will now be set back by a few months. “With the delay, we are foreseeing an additional three months at the most, pending on the arrival of the materials,” Quinto said.