Construction Theft on the Rise

May 11, 2005--Posted at 11:00 p.m. CDT
JONESBORO-- It's an expensive problem that's costing construction workers.
It's job site theft, and with all the new developments in town, it's becoming even more prevalent.
Lt. Rick Elliot of the Jonesboro Police Department says, "Sometimes people doing construction just get a little lax in securing their equipment or sometimes the offenders are breaking in to whatever's being built if it's already in that stage of completion."
And these thieves aren't stealing the small stuff ...
"Recently, there was a ladder stolen from a construction site and then we had a couple of portable mixers stolen from construction sites," Elliot says.
That ladder was valued at $35 thousand and you'd think the empty sites would be the prime target, but according to Elliot, it's not uncommon for thieves to hit new housing additions with residents close by.
And it's what's on the inside that's most appealing.
"The appliances, we've seen those removed along with cabinets being torn out of the houses. We've even seen situations where the plumbing was torn out," Elliot says.
He says the best way to avoid job site crime is to secure the area or install security cameras or lighting.
Even then, the best theft deterrent is to be on the lookout.
"If there's a lot of trucks or construction, if you see somebody driving in or out with a lot of material in back, the nearby residents really don't think anything about it," Elliot says.