PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – An excavator that was stolen from a job site in Southeast Portland almost five months ago has been returned to the company that owns it, and it’s partly thanks to KOIN 6 News’ coverage. 

KOIN 6 News covered the theft in August after someone stole the Tigard construction company UWB’s excavator. 

The company’s owner, Kimberly Caminschi, said a neighbor told her she’d seen someone drive up with a flatbed truck one morning and haul the excavator away. At the time, the neighbor said she thought the truck driver was part of the work crew. 

Surveillance video captured images of that pickup truck and when KOIN 6 News shared them, someone recognized it. 

“Because of your guys’ news story, we broadcast that and then the local footage from the neighborhood, and we actually got a tip,” Caminschi said. 

Over the last five months, the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office worked the case and found several pieces of stolen equipment at a location in Sisters. Some equipment they matched to other owners in the Portland area. 

The district attorney filed charges against Paul David Weston of Sisters. Detectives said they suspect Weston was selling or renting the equipment.  

“Here’s where they ground off what would have been the identifying plate and the markings here, so they ground that off to try to disguise it,” Caminschi said Friday, as she showed KOIN 6 News her newly returned excavator. 

Thankfully, Caminschi said she had photos of the excavator before it was stolen and could identify distinct features, which helped detectives determine the recovered piece of equipment belongs to her. 

She also filed a police report and posted about it on a stolen equipment database. 

“Just to take one person off the street that is doing that, and hopefully it doesn’t happen to somebody else, that’s what I’m really happy about,” Caminschi said. 

The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office said they recovered several pieces of stolen equipment from the Portland metro area. Anyone who’s had their equipment stolen should contact them for more information.