New bid to cut building site theft


Wyndham police are cracking down on theft from residential construction sites after a spike in on-site thefts of appliances, building materials and copper.

Police are joining forces with the building industry in a six-month pilot project aimed at making the reporting of construction theft more prompt and improving crime prevention.

An “evidence collection package” has been developed to help police investigate these offences.

Builders will need to complete the package when filing a report; they will be required to provide invoices of any stolen items, details of any on-site workers and contractors, and insurance information.

Builders will also need to make their site available for inspection by crime scene services within 24 hours of filing a report.

Acting Inspector Damien Madden said police recorded 96 incidents of theft from construction sites across Wyndham over May and June this year, with the bulk of offences taking place in estates across Williams Landing, Truganina and Tarneit.

He said half of all thefts from construction sites were taking place on Fridays between 3pm and 5pm.

Thieves were targeting taps, benchtops, doors, ovens and stovetops, copper, large amounts of timber and even sliding roller doors.

Acting Inspector Madden said in many instances, builders would only file a police report after a number of bits and pieces had been stolen from various sites, making it harder for police to investigate and successfully catch the offenders.

He hoped the trial would lead to faster and more comprehensive reporting of construction theft.

Police have also distributed crime prevention tips to help make building sites more secure and reduce theft.

Builders are urged to install temporary but secure fencing around work sites, organise material deliveries to coincide with their installation, install lockable on-site storage containers, and mark materials with the company name and lot number.

More tips can be found here