The 5 Most Stolen Items from Construction Sites

Since the coronavirus pandemic started in 2020, things simply haven’t been the same. However, if there’s anything you can count on, it’s that bad people will always do bad things.

With supply chain disruptions, the cost of materials has been increasing due to scarcity as well as pure demand. Housing had an unforeseen increase in demand during the pandemic as well, leading to more new construction. 

For all of these reasons, construction site theft continues to be a real problem across the country. We wrote about 10 Easy Ways to Prevent Theft on Your Construction Site last year, and in this article, we’re talking about the most stolen items on a construction site so you know what you should pay the most attention to.

Of course, this is not an exhaustive list of stolen equipment and material, and demand or prices for certain items will cause their popularity to ebb and flow. So be sure to do what you can to research and protect the most valuable items.

The 5 Most Stolen Items from Construction Sites

  1. Lumber - With the price and scarcity of lumber in recent years, it seems to be one of the more popular materials that get targeted for theft. Everything from panels to boards, this is one of the items you should pay a lot of attention to on your site, to be sure you don’t fall victim to a thief.
  2. Copper - Thieves really did all they could to find anything made of copper back in 2008 during the Great Recession, and it appears they are back at it, with the price of copper getting up to $5.00/pound in March 2022, the highest it’s ever been recorded. 
  3. Aluminum - Lightweight and easy to carry off, aluminum is scrapable for any thief that can find any large enough amount of it. Although it’s not as lucrative as copper, aluminum is still a target on the construction site.
  4. Small Tools/Power Tools - Small tools or power tools, especially, are easy to grab and walk away with. They can get a good price on places like Facebook marketplace for someone looking to make a quick buck without having to worry about serial numbers or pawn shops. 
  5. Equipment - Large equipment is harder to steal, but it can happen. Do you have a golf cart on your site? Forklifts? Skiploaders? These are larger equipment, but they can easily be taken if they aren’t secured. If they aren’t GPS tracked, someone can take them to their land somewhere and get all the use they want, leaving you in a lurch.

Did any of these items really surprise you? Have you fallen victim to thefts like these? It’s sad that it happens, but the more focus that gets put on security, the less likely you are to end up getting stolen from.

Thieves love easy targets so being sure to lock up hard-to-get materials and easy-to-grab tools will make your construction site a less likely target.

Also, if they can’t get in and out of a place quickly and easily, thieves are less likely to come to steal from you. So be sure to lock doors and windows to offices and cargo containers, heavy machinery and vehicles.

5 Steps You Can Take to Prevent Thefts

From our previous article, here are some of our tips for preventing thefts on your site:

  1. Circle Up Your Heavy Machinery. Creating a circle, bumper to bumper of your heavy machines around smaller materials, items, and motor vehicles can make it more difficult for thieves to get in, hitch up, and leave with your stuff.
  2. Chain Up Equipment. Weave chains through smaller and larger equipment, then around a pillar or big tire so it’s harder to steal.
  3. Store Your Materials Inside. Hand tools, power tools, lumber, copper pipes and more are easy targets if they are left lying around. Lock them up in cargo containers to make it much harder to find and take.
  4. Put Up Fencing. Fencing is a deterrent for a thief looking to make a quick steal. It also has the benefit of preventing easy access to the site with a vehicle.
  5. Keep Records on Equipment. Keeping serial numbers for tools and equipment and VIN numbers for heavy machinery can help police if and when you need to file reports. 

If you’re looking to add extra security to your site, take a look at our temporary fencing options to make it a little harder for the thieves to get in. Call us for a free quote at 918-272-0568.

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