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Construction site thefts on the rise in Idaho Falls

Construction work continues Friday at an undeveloped subdivision off 65th North Road, but when workers arrived to the job site Monday morning, they say they couldn’t believe their eyes. Houses had been looted and tools and materials were missing.

“That house over across the street got broken into with $1,500 worth of tools missing,” said Jeremy Smout, a construction worker. “This house here got stolen materials off of it. All of our sheeting and two-by-fours.”

Idaho Falls police say they aren’t surprised.

“A lot of those tools and the different things that they use can be very spendy,” said police spokeswoman Joelyn Hansen.

They’re also relatively easy to grab.

“They’re an item that’s sometimes not as easy to trace because they don’t have serial numbers. A lot of times they’ll like them, especially hand tools,” said Hansen.

“We try to lock them up as much as possible, but locks don’t stop people from getting in,” said Smout.

Early Monday morning, thieves found their way into the BCM construction supply lot on North Holmes Avenue for the second time in less than a week.

“They stole a couple of batteries, siphoned some more fuel out of the trucks that we have here,” said manager Scott McKinley.

Each time, McKinley said they got away with between $300 and $400 worth of loot.

“We’re also seeing more actual lumber delivery thefts as well as whatever tools might be on site that contractors left here,” McKinley said.

This isn’t a victimless crime. Smout says construction workers, and not the construction companies, are financially responsible for their tools.

“I just really don’t have the money to replace it,” Smout said.

“If you want it that bad, get a job, and make an honest living, ’cause that’s what we’re trying to do and they’re taking away from our living by taking our materials,” said Smout, speaking directly to would-be thieves.

If you have any information regarding these thefts, you’re asked to call police at 529-1200.

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