Construction theft building in SWFL
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
CREATED Oct. 11, 2013
LEE COUNTY, Fla. - As construction crews add more jobs to their lists, criminals are adding more crimes to their rap sheets.
"When there are more construction sites available then there is more opportunities for theft," said Heather Mazurkiewicz with the Building Industry Association serving Lee Hendry and Glades counties.
"We had a lot of problems with construction site thefts many years ago when the economy was booming and now it looks like it is starting up again," she said. It's a concern she's closely watching.
"We have seen some more activity as of late and we've been working closely with the Lee County Sheriff's Office to really educate the contractors and the consumers about the issue," said Mazurkiewicz.
According to the Cape Coral Construction Industry Association, just this week there have been several reports of thefts at sites in the city.
One home was stripped of its wiring this week, rewired, then stripped againnight.
"Typically in the past it's been the copper but it's anywhere from, like you said, from lumber to roof shingles," Mazurkiewicz said.
Cape Coral Police taking to Twitter to spread the message saying construction site thefts affects all of us.
"It could end up driving up the cost which then is passed on to the consumer," said Mazurkiewicz. "We are mainly trying to educate, making sure that the contractors know no matter what happens, even it it's a small site theft, they need to report it."
The Lee County Sheriff's Office is currently in the beginning phases of re-implementing a task force to target construction crime.
The new task force looks to combat not only thefts but issues with unlicensed contractors.
If you see anything strange at a construction site you're asked to call local law enforcement or 911.