Nobody in the construction industry sees the material shortage as new news; lumber has climbed more than 300% since March of 2020. According to a survey from the Associated Building Contractors, lack of materials competes for top concern among contractors, alongside the labor shortage.
Building materials price hikes translate into job site robberies—not of power tools, the usual prize for burglars looking to make a quick buck, but of building supplies.
In Jonesboro, AK, roofers arrived at a job site on the morning of April 16th to discover someone had stolen 30 sheets of OSB—more than a thousand dollars worth of lumber. With no security camera footage of the residential construction area, police have suspended the case.
Evermark Construction, a southwest Florida construction company, placed one job site on hold due to the robbery of a near-completed home. The thieves stole doors off their hinges and tried to remove windows from their frames.
“Certainly, people want material, and they can’t get material, so they’ll do the things they shouldn’t do,” John Cieplak, owner of the property, told WINK News.
Another superintendent in the area, John Buzzy from Landmark by Gulfstream Homes, said, “Right now, there’s a lot of people doing what they have to do, scratching and stealing.”
Some resort to burglary as the demand for building materials reaches record highs and economists don’t see prices dropping any time soon.