LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – The West Texas Home Builders Association plans to put a stop to crimes at construction sites by putting up a significant number of surveillance cameras and other security measures in all of their members' building sites.
"We have been experiencing job site theft for many years," said West Texas Home Builders Association president, Carl Russell.
The holiday season is approaching and home builders say crimes on their job sites are higher than they are any other time of the year.
Since home prices are directly effected by the cost of construction, when thieves still from job sites, home buyers are the ones that end up paying the price for the thefts.
"Copper and lumber gets stolen all the time," said Mike Thoma Construction representative, Leslie Thoma.
Thieves steal anything from appliances already installed in the homes to copper wiring. Copper gutters have been stolen from churches and building materials are being stolen from construction sites; and it is happening in Lubbock. These thefts raise the cost of construction, in the end putting the cost on the consumer.
"These criminals not only affect the home builders, but they effect the consumer ultimately. Because these guys can soak up that margin so ultimately the costs are being past on to the consumer," said Garza County Sheriff Deputy, Bruce Flournoy.
To stop this type of crime, home builders are banning together by installing security measures around Lubbock construction sites. Leslie Thoma, a member of the association says she installed her own security measures and caught a criminal in the act.
"It involved a lot of homes. There was a lot of vandalism and there was a lot of theft. And they actually caught those people. And they had a warehouse, they were big time," said Thoma.
And it's not just home builders, Jarvis Metals said thieves steal from them too. So they're tracking anyone selling scrap metals to them to help the cause.
"The average job site theft is around 8,500 dollars. That's a lot of money stolen off of a job site," said Flournoy.
Now all the members will be able to get a pictures of criminals like the cameras in legacy play village. The association said they are taking away the opportunity for people to make bad choices and will prosecute anyone they catch, and this will end up saving you money.
"If they come to a job site and they vandalize or steal they're going to be prosecuted period to the fullest extent of the law," said Flournoy.
The Lubbock District Attorneys office said anything stolen, worth more than 1,500 dollars is a felony that is punishable with state jail time.
"As an industry we are not going to tolerate it anymore," said Russell.
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