Construction industry thefts in Grand Junction

Construction Industry Trends in Grand Junction
Published: Aug. 26, 2021 at 8:56 PM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) - The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office is investigating two thefts at separate construction sites this past Sunday.

The Sheriff’s office says construction theft is quite common for material that is not locked up.

“Construction materials, especially lumber have gone up in price and are expensive,” said Spokesperson for the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office Megan Terlecky. “And we have seen people target these items to steal.”

On Sunday around 9:15 am construction material was taken from a job site in the 3100 block of E Rd. The items consisted of lumber and soffit material. The suspect identified by the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office is described as a white male wearing a yellow shirt and driving a red flatbed truck.

Several hours later around 5:15 pm, a second theft of construction material occurred at a job site in the 400 blocks of Fox Meadows St. The items taken were plywood and sheets of foam. The suspect identified by the Sheriff’s Office from a surveillance video is described as a Hispanic male wearing a tan-colored sun hat, a blue and white plaid shirt, and blue jeans. The suspect vehicle is described as a silver minivan.

“People right now are stealing a lot of lumber because of the price increase,” said Elevate Construction business owner Josue Carrasco. “The price increase being so high people steal lumber, sell it out on the street for less money, and make their money like that. Ever since lumber prices went up with the pandemic and a lot of people not working, it’s easier for some people to steal lumber and make their money on the side not working. And they decide to come steal out of the job sites.”

Multiple construction industry supervisors say materials such as plywood, doorknobs, and even doors are stolen from sites on a weekly basis.

Elevate construction says the cost of lumber here has actually plummeted down to pre-pandemic prices in the last 2 weeks. Lower than it’s been in over a year. So they’re noticing an increase in theft of other materials such as doorknobs and tools instead of lumber.

“This is a good reminder to the public, anything that you have that you leave outside unsecured, to take that extra step to secure it if you can,” said Terlecky. “These are what we call crimes of opportunity. There are people in our community who do take advantage if things are left unsecured that they will steal.”

However, theft isn’t the only trend that’s being seen right now in Grand Junction. Elevate Construction says the city is also seeing a huge drop in their labor workers since the pandemic.

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