Construction Burglaries Larger Problem Than Perceived

Police in Chicago arrested two men on May 12 in connection with an attempted burglary at a construction site, which police have said has been the scene of other recent burglaries.

Mokena police Chief Steve Vaccaro reported that an officer on patrol noticed a car parked outside the site, and later saw a man outside the building, whom he took into custody. After this man told the officer that there was another person inside the building, police searched for the second suspect for about five hours before finally finding him in the rafters of an attic.

Construction sites might not seem like prime targets, but the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) estimates that more than $1 billion in construction equipment is stolen in the U.S. each year. The NICB’s 2012 Equipment Theft Report also revealed that in 2012, Texas, North Carolina, Florida, and California respectively had the most thefts, accounting for a whopping 37% of all construction equipment thefts that year.

Police have not yet said what the two suspects may have been attempting to steal. They may have been trying to steal materials or equipment, which can be resold, but it is possible that they may also have been searching for something a bit more dangerous, such as explosives.

Last month, dynamite was stolen from a construction site in Louisville. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has even gone so far as to offer a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone responsible for the theft.

According to Vaccaro, “They have to conduct an inventory, and they have a lot of tools out there. They have a lot of materials, so they have to do an extensive inventory to determine what, if anything, was taken.”

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