updated 10/7/2007 11:53:04 AM ET 2007-10-07T15:53:04

Authorities are wondering how a thief was able to make off with some pretty big bounty: an earthmover and an excavator from a construction site.

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Authorities believe the heavy equipment was taken some time Friday night, after a construction crew left a site near the interchange of Interstates 235, 35 and 80. When another crew showed up on Saturday morning, the heavy equipment was gone.

Jensen Construction Co. values the equipment at $150,000.

“We have tool break-ins, small tools, trailers ... but something this size — first time for me ever happening that big,” said Randy Freel, of Jensen Construction Co.

Authorities are mystified.

“This is an extremely large piece of construction equipment, and it’s not like hot-wiring a car and driving off with it,” said Neil Shultz of the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. “This took someone with extraordinary skills and abilities that knows how to drive it, start it, load it onto a trailer.”

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