Zephyr train engine batteries stolen

Gazette Photo by David Fabio
Gazette Photo by David Fabio

Stillwater Police Department investigators are looking for suspects in the theft of four four locomotive engine batteries stolen from the Minnesota Zephyr engine on Main Street in Stillwater some time Tuesday.

The batteries were reported missing from the north facing engine, according to a preliminary police report.

The missing batteries are similar to a diesel starting battery, weigh about 350 pounds each and are valued at $400 each. Property damage related to the theft was estimated by police at $2,000. The exact make and model as well as serial numbers are unknown at this time, according to a report.

Train owner David Paradeau reported the theft to police after being told of the incident by an employee. Officers contacted the employee, who told investigators that he had been at the scene for several days doing some clean up and Tuesday morning noticed fresh tracks in the snow leading to one of the engines and realized the batteries had been stolen.

The employee pointed out to officers that the battery compartment bolt, wires and cables were cut to remove the batteries. The second engine has similar damage although all its batteries were intact.

Several vehicle tracks and footprints in the snow were found around the car although Paradeau’s employee said he and his crew had been using their own vehicles to get close to the train.

The investigation into the theft continues.