With convenient access to the border, Arizona has a high rate of construction equipment theft. And with the state’s construction industry growing – even in the face of the pandemic-led economic downturn – there’s no reason to think the cases of theft will decrease.
"We have seen an increase in the need for off-duty officers to guard construction sites with the increase in the theft of fiber-optic cable, copper spools, and other highly valued materials and equipment," Joe Morales, marketing director of Law Enforcement Specialists, says. "The overall state of construction theft in Arizona has reached proportions that make it more necessary than ever to have security on-site to act as a deterrent."
Across the country, construction equipment theft is a persistent and costly problem. The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) reports between 600 and 1,200 cases of equipment theft every year, with an average cost of $400 million.
To make matters worse, that cost covers only the direct cost of replacing the equipment. The related costs of missing equipment – from job delays to penalties, from higher insurance premiums to canceling a policy – can be even greater than replacement costs. Altogether, the direct and indirect costs of robbery from residential construction sites can add 1-2 percent to the price of a new house.
From a contractor's perspective, the takeaway is clear: taking active security measures at your construction site is not just necessary but indispensable to your business. It’s a good idea to make use of a variety of solutions to deter thieves. Consider incorporating these solutions into your security plan:
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This article originally appeared in the bimonthly Arizona Contractor & Community magazine, Sep/Oct 2021 issue, Vol. 10, No. 5.