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A hefty heist: Thieves steal development's monument sign

This monument sign was removed from the entrance to The Preserve, located at 67th Street and Jamaica Avenue. (Photo courtesy of the Cottage Grove Police Department)1 / 2
Just a concrete bed remains after a monument sign was stolen from The Preserve, a planned housing development at 67th Street and Jamaica Avenue in Cottage Grove. (Bulletin photo by Patricia Drey Busse)2 / 2

Thieves stole the rock monument sign that marks the entrance to The Preserve, a housing development at 67th Street and Jamaica Avenue in Cottage Grove where only a model home has been built so far.

The sign -- reportedly worth $10,000 -- was reported stolen Tuesday, July 6.

The theft is one of many that have occurred on the site, said Matthew Reiland, a former employee of the site's original developer, Johnson-Reiland Construction, Inc.

When no one was living in the model home there, people spray-painted its windows, he said. A couple of weeks ago, someone cut the batteries out of a dump truck Reiland's family had parked in the area, he said.

"Now we've got to go buy a bunch of batteries and cables and get a mechanic out there to get it started again," he said.

Aside from the road leading past the development's single home, it contains open land and a couple of large piles of rocks. A victim of the economic downturn, no construction has been done in The Preserve since 2007, Reiland said.

The development is currently in the foreclosure process.

Check back for more details on this story as they become available.

Scott Wente

Scott Wente has been editor at the South Washington County Bulletin since 2011. He worked as a reporter at other Forum Communications newspapers from 2003 to 2011.

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