Who would need a front-loader enough to simply take one? The bright yellow Caterpillar shown here vanished from the BJ's parking lot along Route 37 in Toms River, and police are sure of one thing - it didn't leave by itself.

According to Toms River PD Chief Mike Mastronardy, the 1994 heavy machine left the lot sometime between late Friday night and early Saturday morning. It's owned by Arnold and Sons, based in Island Heights, and was stored in the lot for snow removal operations. Its value is estimated at $50,000.

Mastronardy says that whoever made off with the vehicle would have needed a key to start it and lumber away. The investigation is being handled by police Captain Bruce Burgess.

Anyone with information that can help track down the missing machine can reach Burgess at 732-349-1050, extension 1200.