by Sue Ann Rybak
The Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter of Associated Builders & Contractors Inc., a non-union building trades association, has offered a $50,000 reward to catch vandals who caused $500,000 in damages to the new Chestnut Hill Friends Meetinghouse that is currently under construction on E. Mermaid Lane.
On Dec. 20, vandals torched a crane and used an acetylene torch to cut into a steal beam at the construction site. Police are still investigating the crime. No arrests have been made yet.
Mary Tebeau, chief executive of the Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter of Associated Builders & Contractors Inc., said the specifics of the reward are still being finalized.
“We are in the process of establishing a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the people that vandalized the Quaker meeting’s construction site,” Tebeau said.
She said that the association hopes the reward will be an incentive for people to come forward with any information. Tebeau added that the police believe the damage was done by more than one person.
The $3.5 million dollar project is being built by E. Allen Reeves of Abington, a non-union contractor.
Reeves told The Philadelphia Inquirer after the incident that be believed the vandalism was caused by union “bullies.”
“This is pure and simple bullying, and most likely it was the unions,” Reeves said. “It is the usual bad behavior of bullies that have been tolerated in this city forever. The politicians don’t care, the police don’t care, the business community don’t care.”