A Texas crime ring comprised of 18 people is believed to have located, stolen, stored and transported more than $750,000 of construction equipment and materials. According to Spectrum News, they took electronics, tires, power grade washers, vehicles and other types of equipment. One of the biggest items that was stolen was a Kubota excavator which retails for more than $50,000 USD. The investigators said the suspects worked with criminal networks to sell the items for cash and methamphetamines. In addition to the stolen equipment, authorities seized firearms, marijuana, meth and a large quality of stolen documents containing addresses, ID numbers, credit card information and account numbers.
In this multi-year investigation, hundreds of thousands of dollars of equipment was recovered. This isn’t always the case, however. For the most part, only 25% of stolen construction equipment is ever recovered. When it comes to protecting your site, diligence is key. One of the first things you can do is to make sure all your assets and inventory are identified and stored correctly. You may even want to designate a point person to keep a running list of all tools and materials, making sure to update it frequently.
Another way to help prevent construction theft and criminal activity is to keep the property well lit. When the sun goes down, crime goes up. Enhancing the lighting will help decrease the probability that criminals will target your property.
While lighting makes it more difficult for potential thieves to hide, adding physical security makes it harder for them to get into the construction site in the first place. That means installing a perimeter fence around the site. Be warned though, persistent criminals can jump over or cut through a fence if they are really determined.
Live video surveillance should be a crucial part of any construction site security plan. With the help of video analytics software, trained operators can look for suspicious behavior in real time and will be alerted if there is unauthorized activity. They can then activate a speaker warning or call local police.
Construction theft is a common problem that can lead to huge losses. Fortunately, there are proactive measures you can take to deter it. If you have any questions about how live video surveillance can help add an additional layer of security to your construction site, contact us here.