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Posted: October 15, 2013 7:32 p.m.

No sign of stolen Mansfield dump truck

The city of Mansfield’s dump truck was stolen a couple months ago, but neither the truck nor the thieves have been found.

A city employee was using the truck to pick up some limbs for a resident near City Hall, and parked the truck at the city barn and left the keys in a cubby hole in the barn, said City Clerk Jamie Ruark.

The city has video cameras in the area, but Ruark said two people showed up on a four-wheeler with their heads covered, and one of them cranked the truck and drove it off. Ruark said no new information has come in since the truck was stolen. The dump truck was a 1996 Chevrolet diesel truck with a dump body, Ruark said, and the city used it to pick up limbs and carry off sludge from the sewer plant, among other uses. Mayor Estona Middlebrooks also had city workers pick up trash for senior residents who weren’t able to take their trash to the county’s recycling centers themselves, Ruark said. The city had only liability insurance on the truck, so it won’t get any money from an insurance policy, Ruark said.

And Ruark said it’s not the first time the city’s had an issue like this.

“We don’t know if someone was watching the shop or what, but on two occasions close together before that, we had diesel (fuel) siphoned out of the trucks that sit outside,” Ruark said. “Then this happened with the diesel truck. It may be some malicious person in town.”

Ruark didn’t expect a new truck to be purchased in the short term. The council has expressed concern about making purchases without an understanding of where its budget stands, which has been complicated by a delayed transition to a digital financial system.

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