Construction Equipment Theft Continues to Rise in Toronto

Posted by Sean Murphy on June 27, 2017

Is Toronto Construction Equipment Theft Rising Faster than the Buildings Themselves?

A metropolis of new commercial real estate developments is rapidly reshaping the Toronto skyline. Unfortunately, a consequence is an ascent in equipment theft at construction sites and the need to improve building site security.

According to analysis from construction data firm Emporis, Toronto has nearly 50% more high-rise properties under construction than New York City. Thieves steal construction tools and machinery across Ontario daily. In addition to the obvious financial hardship, companies suffer a cost equally as valuable - time, including:

  • Time taken to replace costly equipment
  • Additional time delays to completion dates
  • Downtime for equipment operators

Construction site thieves are largely professionals who typically plan to bypass building site security. They know your weak spots, your most valuable outdoor assets and how to maximize their time while on site. Popular stolen construction equipment in Toronto includes high-value items, such as backhoes, skid loaders, compressors, and generators.

According to The Ontario Sewer and Watermain Construction Association, the Ontario Provincial Police estimated construction equipment theft to be around $15-$20 million in Ontario each year.

A recent independent survey of 100 construction companies reported an average of 2 construction equipment thefts per year per site. Associated costs were almost $30,000 per theft. Over 50% of items stolen were never recovered. When valuable equipment is missing from a construction site, superintendents, project engineers, and supervisors, and employees lose valuable work time. The whole day is spent filing insurance claims and police reports.

How Can I Prevent Construction Site Theft?

If you have or are concerned about construction equipment theft, design a full security solution that maximizes coverage and reduces overall costs. Traditional building site security measures like security guards are limited and can be expensive and generally reactive. Locations can be vulnerable to construction equipment theft, especially at night. Thieves can escape with stolen construction equipment with minimal opposition under the cover of darkness and with little on-site security. Companies are increasingly looking at security guard alternatives, such as remote video monitoring with surveillance cameras and live trained monitors, that proactively help to deter equipment thieves.

UCIT Online and Stealth Monitoring are the leader in live video surveillance in the U.S. and Canada, with over 400 employees, 9 offices, and 3 live video monitoring control centers. Our proactive video monitoring watches over 15,000 cameras to help detect and deter criminal activity in cities across the continent like Toronto. Virtual remote security technology reduces or even replaces security guards at a fraction of the cost. Our remote surveillance operators are trained to see unusual activity like construction equipment theft, activate a speaker warning, and call the local police.

Please call toll-free (866) 756-7847 or contact UCIT today for more information on proactive security video surveillance to protect your construction site. Visit our website to see actual crime video of criminals being apprehended at job sites and other commercial businesses.