Last month, builders in Jonesboro, Arkansas were hit by a series of robberies. As you’ll see, these crimes are incredibly common. We’ll take a look at this case specifically and look at the items most frequently stolen from construction sites.
In the first robbery, the thieves made off with a stovetop valued at $700 from a single-family home under construction. At the second scene, also a single-family home, a dishwasher, light fixtures, an exterior coach light, and the doorbell, which together cost some $800, were nabbed.
The last robbery targeted an apartment complex being remodeled, and the items stolen were expensive construction tools and materials — a circular saw, a jigsaw, a table saw, 10 boxes of tile, a bathroom vanity and a — worth more than $1400.
How common is theft from construction sites, and what gets stolen most?
Up to $1 billion in equipment, materials and appliances are stolen from construction sites every single year, and less than 25 percent is recovered, according to the National Equipment Register.
The most common items stolen from construction sites are:
1. Tools and Small Supplies
Construction tools are small and can be incredibly expensive, hence they are a favorite target of thieves. Unfortunately, many tool thefts are carried out by employees on the site. Sometimes many items at once are taken, but more frequently it’s one tool at a time over many months.
Appliance theft is especially common in multi-family residential construction projects. There are lots of appliances in one place — from refrigerators and ovens to washers and water heaters — and there’s often one or more blind spots in security that enterprising thieves can take advantage of.
Want to learn more? Here are three ways to protect appliances from construction site theft.
3. Heavy Equipment
Though heavy equipment “goes missing” much less than appliances and tools, when a tractor goes missing it’s a big loss. John Deere, perhaps by no surprise, is the most targeted appliance brand.
The value of copper has risen precipitously in recent years, making roofing materials in homes, churches and schools particularly vulnerable. In the span of just a few years, the price of copper went from 80 cents a pound to 4 dollars a pound.
Lumber, like tools and small supplies, tends to go missing a little bit at a time. Some employees will see the site as a free source of a few pieces of wood here and there for personal use or for side projects. Take note of any employees regularly staying late
A Title Company that Caters to Builders
At Lakeside Title Company, we help builders with the title work they need to make their development a success. When you rely on us, you can spend more time managing your site, while we do the paperwork.