Police in Salt Lake City recently broke open a construction equipmenttheft crime ring. It is reported that the men caught typically were employed as construction workers during the day, and spent their nights stealing heavy equipment.
Policeman further reported that many thieves raid construction sites to pay for drug habits. Dave Broadhead of the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office stated that thieves steal a variety of equipment, even paint sprayers and regular construction tools. He also said that thieves target copper because they can sell it as stripped metal for $2.50 a pound, making it relatively easy to pick up some extra money. A single contractor has been hit 6 times in two months, suffering a $20,000 loss in stolen equipment.
Houston police have also uncovered significant amounts of construction site theft. They just concluded a 15 month investigation in which they arrested 57 suspects relating to construction site theft.
Officer Craig Kivela, of the Central Patrol Division, believes that these suspects are directed by a small group of ringleaders, and that there are an estimated 40 related cases of theft. More than $200,000 worth of vehicles and material have been recovered.
Increasing construction increases the opportunity of equipment theft. Authorities warn that there is a market of thieves just waiting to steal property and equipment at construction sites. Implementing basic and fundamental security procedures will likely decrease the amount of construction theft.