Amid Materials Shortages, Construction Thefts Are on the Rise

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With costs rising and delays impending, construction site thefts become more commonplace. A Virginian contractor, when viewing security footage, witnessed a white pickup truck pulling up to his job site in broad daylight. Thieves loaded more than 200 2x4s into the bed. They also drove to the backside of the building and stole several panels of OSB.

"I love what I do but there's a lot of challenges in it and thieves just make it hard," Ross Bauschatz with Craftech Homes said. "I can't stand a thief."

Bauschatz priced the 200 2x4s at $6 apiece; this sums the theft at over one-thousand dollars.

The security camera recorded clear footage of the truck. The driver noticed this and returned to the crime scene to tear down the camera and take it with him. But Bauschatz uses cameras outfitted with GPS locators.

"The camera was secured approximately 20 feet in the air. It was inside a steel security box with a steel cable around the tree," Bauschatz explained. "Right now, we're in Prince George County near the intersection of West Quaker Road and Route 156. The camera pinged at the Wawa off of Hull Street near the Applebee's on Hull Street."

That's about 25 miles from the area of the theft.

"I searched everywhere I could look on that property — every trash can, I checked the dumpster," Bauschatz said.

While he didn't find the camera, he did get a good look at the 2008-2010 white Ford pickup. Although confident that he'll find the thief, he plans to take extra precautions in the future.

"You've got to lock things up. It seems you can't trust anyone anymore."

Bauschatz's Virginia construction company joins the list of builders plagued by job site theft.

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