As we discussed in the first part of this six-part series, there are many reasons why theft plagues the construction industry. With the lack of security on many construction sites and the value of the equipment and materials located at the workplace, construction sites are often an easy target for experienced criminals and even workers that take materials and tools home with them. In this section, an Orlando construction attorney will discuss the type of items that thieves covet when they visit a construction site.
Considering the significant investment into construction equipment, an ambitious thief will remove any type of equipment from a site including bulldozers and other nearly immovable pieces of machinery. According to the National Equipment Register, the most common types of construction equipment stolen are the following items:
- Tractors and mowers
- Wheeled and tracked loaders, backhoes, and skid steers
- Towables (generators, light towers, welders, etc.)
- Utility vehicles
- Graders and scrapers
Typically, the most targeted equipment is also the most popular construction brand names like John Deere, Bobcat, and Caterpillar. Construction equipment that was manufactured in the last five years is also the most common type of equipment stolen as it has the greatest value. However, older equipment is also commonly targeted considering there aren’t any tracking capabilities installed in the equipment to potentially relocate it.
After a project is completed, the construction site needs to be supervised to ensure that thieves do not remove any valuable leftover materials. There are many types of building materials targeted by thieves. Lumber is one of the easiest materials to steal as it is usually accessible on jobsites and can be immediately thrown in the back of a pickup truck and driven off the property. Other targeted materials include copper wiring along with other metal materials and piping. Any of these materials can be repurposed on another project or sold to a recycling center.
Other Items Stolen
Here are a few other items that are targeted by thieves:
- Tools: Theft of work tools can add up over time when there is a failure to document who has what tools. In other words, workers will walk off with items. It’s important to always personalize your tools to help stop this from happening.
- Appliances: In residential construction, household appliances can also be targeted. With construction professionals coming and going, a thief may be able to enter the property and remove items such as microwaves, stoves, and other valuables when nobody else is around.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.