It was stolen Tuesday night in a wild and bold theft from the yard of a construction company in Brooklyn.
The thieves cut down a fence and then just drove the thing out, stopping traffic to do it.
The daring heist of a very valuable piece of equipment was caught on camera.
"Somebody stole a quarter million dollars for me. That was my first thought," said Ari Steinman, theft victim.
Wednesday morning Ari Steinman couldn't believe his eyes. He arrived at work to find a giant excavator and the tractor trailer that towed it were simply gone.
"It takes somebody who has some type of knowledge to even start these trucks," Steinman said.
Someone planned this theft well, but didn't expect it to be caught on video obtained exclusively by Eyewitness News.
Around 8:30 Tuesday night, several people arrived at Steinman's lot in Williamsburg, at least one on foot, at least two in this pickup truck.
One man used a power tool to grind through the padlock. Sparks flew, but didn't get the attention of the cops speeding by on a call.
The suspects scattered to hide. Then, with the coast clear, two of them walked into the industrial printing shop across the street and asked Yehuda Goodman for a price quote.
"It doesn't make sense," Goodman said, "I thought oh this guy looked like something was wrong with him."
But it successfully diverted attention away from the high stakes caper.
No sooner did one of the thieves open the gate, another started up the big rig, turned on the lights, pulled into traffic, and disappeared down Park Avenue.
Now its owner wants his excavator back. But more importantly, he's worrying what the thieves are planning to do with it.
"They stole it with purpose. I have no idea what their intention is, but I know it can cause a lot of damage to a lot of things," Steinman said.