Construction Site Theft Is on the Rise
During the peak of the COVID pandemic, construction projects were put on hold, causing a shortage of materials, such as lumber and steel. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, fewer than 25% of stolen construction materials are ever found. This means if you are not amping up the security measures at your construction site, now is the time so your job site does not become the next target.
Organized Crime vs. Opportunistic Crime
Opportunistic crimes occur at the spur of the moment. Think of it like stealing an apple from a tree. There’s no premeditation – just an opportunity that’s right in front of you. Opportunistic theft on a construction site often involves stealing items such as tools or anything that is easy to swipe.
Organized crime is much more extensive. Organized crime rings wipe businesses out of thousands and millions of dollars. Organized crime is premeditated and carefully planned out. At a construction site, organized crime rings go after large pieces of equipment and may even steal trucks with valuable material, such as lumber. Their goal is to steal a large quantity of items to resell for a profit.
[RELATED: Understanding Organized Retail Theft Rings]
Copper Is the Most Commonly Stolen Item from a Construction Site
The Department of Energy states the amount of copper stolen annually exceeds $1 billion. With the nationwide supply shortage, this cost will continue to rise. Thieves may strip copper from equipment or from the actual job site, causing destruction beyond the loss of copper. Copper theft affects construction companies the most, so it is crucial to protect a job site where there is copper or other metals present.
Keep a Close Eye on Your Tools and Power Tools
Basic tools such as hammers, hardware, and saws are easy to swipe and transport. While they may seem like nonessential items, the cost of these stolen items can add up over time. When it comes to your power tools, these can become a more costly loss.
The theft of power tools is on the rise, and will continue to increase. This is because power tools are valuable to resell online on sites such as Facebook Marketplace, Amazon, and eBay. So if you notice that your tools are going missing, it’s best to conduct an investigation before the costs of equipment loss starts to add up.
Heavy Machinery Is Also a Prize Item for Thieves
Seasoned organized crime rings often go for the high risk high reward items, which includes your heavy machinery. Crime rings such as these are able to transport these large items without detection – especially if there is little security at the site. At the end of the day, be sure to lock away the keys in a place that is not on site. For extra safety measures, remove the battery as well so there is less risk for theft.
How to Minimize Theft on Your Construction Site
Security cameras and/or officers are a must at a job site. Theft at a construction site most often occurs where security coverage is bare or not there at all. Additionally, you should lock away any valuable items, materials, and equipment to prevent easy access from thieves. One of the most effective ways to protect your construction site is an electric fence – if you’re willing to invest.
If a theft does occur at your construction site, it is best to open up an investigation as soon as possible. Simply being insured does not protect you enough. Not only are your materials and equipment gone, but you also lose time on a project focusing on the theft, and may also lose your reputation with your clients.
Licensed in Georgia and South Carolina, CGA Solutions conducts theft investigations so that you can focus on your business. Additionally, we conduct background investigations to ensure your employees are up to standard. For more information, schedule a free consultation today.