Police are investigating the theft of 30 screw jacks from the rigs that support the vessels stored on land at Front Street Shipyard, equipment Belfast Police Chief Mike McFadden said carries a collective value of at least $3,000.

McFadden said Thursday afternoon, Nov. 14, that the jacks were stolen from the shipyard either during the overnight hours of Tuesday, Nov. 12, or Wednesday, Nov. 13. He described the missing metal pieces as the adjustable shafts that sit atop the metal frame of the equipment used to support a vessel when it is situated on land.

McFadden said police believe the theft may have been committed as a way to acquire scrap metal that could be traded for cash.

"We're just trying to find out who may have taken them," said McFadden.

McFadden said the total number of stolen jacks weighed "a couple hundred pounds," and that while those responsible could have accomplished the theft with the help of a car or truck, it is unlikely a person could have taken those items while on foot.

McFadden asked anyone who may have noticed any suspicious vehicles, people or activity near the shipyard over the last couple of nights to call police at 338-5255.