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Vandals record themselves destroying $2.4m crane: 'Because we can'

The Queensland owner of the crane says the business may not be able to continue if the machine is a write-off.

Young vandals have filmed the moment they destroyed a $2.4 million crane in Cairns and posted it online.

In a series of videos taken over the weekend at Century Cranes in Portsmith, a male adolescent can be seen hurling rocks through the windscreen of the machinery with the caption “just because we can”, The Cairns Post reported.

He is then filmed using a large wooden stake to smash through the glass while his friend with the camera can be heard egging his mate on.

Left: A picture of a vandalised windscreen of a crane cabin in Cairns, and right the inside of the cabin covered in fire extinguisher foam. Source: The Cairns Post
A crane company in Cairns is counting its losses after vandals destroyed a $2.4 million crane. Source: The Cairns Post

“Motherf***er was strong as f**k,” the text across the screen reads.

In the next video, the pair have turned their attention to the left side window. As the first boy thrusts the wooden stake through the glass, his friend gets closer to film the inside of the vehicle.

Survival of business at stake without key machinery

By morning, the true extent of the vandals’ crime spree was clear with spray paint covering the side and front of the crane.

“I was here,” one piece read across the door, while the inside of the cab was covered in white after the thugs allegedly emptied the fire extinguisher.

The company’s general manager Bianca Wilson is devastated, unsure how the business will now survive without its critical equipment.

“It’s one of two of our largest machines and with the infrastructure projects around Cairns at the moment, we rely heavily on both of them,” Ms Wilson told The Cairns Post.

The vandals filmed themselves smashing the windscreen and side window of the $2.4 million crane at Century Cranes in Portsmith. Source: The Courier Mail
The vandals filmed themselves smashing the windscreen and side window of the $2.4 million crane at Century Cranes in Portsmith. Source: The Cairns Post

While it’s not yet known if the crane is a write-off or can be fixed, either outcome will cause massive delays.

“These machines can’t just be bought,” she said. “There is a two-year wait so that is going to be problematic. If it isn’t a write off ... all the parts need to come from Germany so the down time is going to be excessive.”

Vandals showed no remorse after being identified

A second $500,000 excavator, operated by Advanced Civil Earthworks, was also extensively damaged in the attack with its windows smashed and radio torn out.

Supervisor Toby Proctor said they were able to work out who the offenders in the videos were “because they had obviously put it up all over TikTok and social media” and have already been in contact.

“I tried to explain to them that this was our livelihoods they were messing with and all they could say for themselves was sorry, but what can you do,” he told The Cairns Post, saying they showed no remorse.

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