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Bulldozer Crimes More Common Than One May Think

— September 4, 2019

Bulldozers have been used in crimes across the nation for years.

It goes without saying that bulldozers can do a lot of damage in a very little amount of time.  And, that’s why they’re apparently the vehicle of choice for crimes.

This month, a bulldozer was used to plow into a Detroit liquor store and gain entry.  The suspect, still at large, started the machine – which was parked outside – and smashed the front wall of the JR Party Store, stealing several bottles of liquor in the wee morning hours.  According to the police report, more than $100,000 in damage was caused in the crash before the perpetrator fled the scene.

Meanwhile, in Akron, Ohio, police were searching for a man who stole a bulldozer from a construction site and rammed it into a house and a parked car.  The residents were inside at the time.  The man fled the scene on the bulldozer before he could be apprehended, but a 911 call placed shortly after offered a description and the caller indicated the man may have been in his underwear.

Bulldozer Crimes More Common Than One May Think
Photo by Joy Real on Unsplash

Police officers noted damage to a porch, the fenced-in yard and a vehicle parked in the driveway.  The homeowner said when he heard his home being struck, he looked outside and saw a man driving the bulldozer.  He immediately gathered a woman and his children and took them to the back of the house.  The driver plowed into the porch one more time, then fled.  Police found the bulldozer abandoned less than half a mile away from the scene.

In Troy, New Hampshire, an ex-con known for committing past crimes stole a bulldozer and repeatedly rammed the police station in 2007, tearing down most of the front wall.

“He hit it three times,” State Police Sgt. David Griffin said. “He took out the whole front, which included the main entrance to the police department.”  No one was inside the building at the time.

Stanley Burt, 34, said after he was arrested the police were at fault, stating, “I’ve been harassed to the point this has brought this to.  I want an investigation started.”

Burt had committed numerous crimes and had a long list of local run-ins with the local police, including twenty driving offenses, and investigators said Burt stole the bulldozer from a nearby construction site.  When he appeared in court, he seemed to be mocking authorities by wearing a shirt with a bulldozer on it.

Marvin Heemeyer, a 52-year-old muffler-shop owner in town of Granby, Colorado, also used a bulldozer to go on a 90-minute rampage in 2004, damaging more than a dozen buildings by plowing into them before killing himself.  Heemeyer was reportedly upset over a long-standing zoning dispute he had with the town council, so he spent the next year-and-a-half modifying the bulldozer, including adding armor plating to make the machine resistant to any firearms trying to stop him from completing his mission.

He plowed through many official buildings and others, and even attempted to run over two state troopers.  As expected, he exchanged gunfire with police and eventually stopped the machine while trying to dismantle the local hardware store.  Officers moved in to arrest Heemeyer and found him behind the wheel, dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.


Thieves rammed bulldozer into liquor store

Akron police searching for man who stole bulldozer, rammed into house, car

Police: Ex-con hit police station with bulldozer 

The Granby bulldozer rampage happened 15 years ago today

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