From Andrew Harris, 10/27/21
Multiple sources have informed us that thieves have taken thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars in equipment and tools from a local multi-million dollar solar panel farm. The site is in the town of Wellsville, located off the Lewis Road, near Voorhees Hill Road.
The massive installation of solar panels is being constructed on property owned by the Graves family, who live on Lewis Road. We contacted Karl Graves, currently a Allegany county legislator and about to become the Town Justice for the town of Wellsville. As it happened, the call from the Wellsville Sun was the first Karl had heard of the crime and was just as anxious to find out what happened.
Graves hopped in his truck and drove out to the job site to talk with the crew. After getting the scoop Karl reported back that while he wasn’t an investigator during his law enforcement career, it appears to have been an inside job.
“The containers they use up there do not have an inventory list printed on the outside. The burglars had to have known what was inside. All have padlocks on them. The one that contained a welder, generator and assorted hand tools was the one they hit. The padlock was removed and could not be found on site. My assumption is they didn’t want to leave fingerprints is the reason.”
Based on the quantity of materials stolen, this doesn’t seem like a lone disgruntled employee.
“My assumption also is that whoever did this was not alone as the contents had weight to them which would have made it difficult to move alone. The staff up there noted that the container was empty.”
Karl mentioned that he saw state police in the area and that an investigation is underway according site manager.
While not a direct theft of the Graves family property, they are not taking the crime lightly. Karl reports they are beefing up the farms security:
“We plan to upgrade our camera system as a result of this incident. The new cameras will be able to see at night.”
The solar field is well underway and could be operational as soon as January 2022. The construction of the field is by the Omni Navitas group and the map below indicates the coverage areas this solar farm will supply.