Thefts Plague Contractors

Click to see original imageThe construction industry in Utah is being plagued with loss of about a half million dollars a year from theft and vandalism. Thus declares Enoch R. Smith, chairman of the crime prevention committee for the Utah Chapter of the Associated General Contractors. That’s a lot of money but money can disappear rapidly when expensive modern equipment is involved. For example, one contractor reported he had a compressor stolen which was discovered by police at a mine site in Nevada. In another case, a general contractor reported theft of a $20,000 backhoe. The thief attempted to sell it to another contractor, who recognized the equipment and reported to the rightful owner. Only recently in Salt Lake County vandals did $3000 damage at yards of a sand and gravel operation. Naturally law enforcement officers are being alerted for tighter vigilance insofar as contractors’ equipment is concerned. But the Utah Chapter of AGC isn’t going to be passive in the matter. it has launched a program wherein each member plays a role. One approach is the furnishing of reward decals and posters for contractors. These offer up to a $1000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone responsible for vandalism or theft on projects of member contractors. Other facets of the program include: -Company identification of equipment such as “branding” tools and equipment and painting them with a uniform color system. -Circulation of information about stolen equipment to other contractors, equipment dealers and maintenance people. -Security patrols, adequate lighting, and fenced-in areas at job sites. -Cooperation with law enforcement agencies including notification that a construction job is getting under way. Undoubtedly there are things the general public can do to help also, such as reporting suspicious actions, equipment located, etc. It makes sense for the public to be concerned, because theft and vandalism are resulting in increased costs and delays of construction projects. in other words, the public is being hurt.