Burglars Take Aim of Homes Under Construction

South Pasadena Crime Prevention Officer Richard Lee estimates that more than $1 billion worth of construction tools and materials are stolen from construction sites each year

FILE PHOTO: Eric Fabbro | SouthPasadenan.com News | South Pasadena Police Department

South Pasadena Police Department officials say several homes were burglarized while under construction/remodel last year in the city.

“It is estimated that over $1 billion worth of construction tools and materials are stolen from construction sites each year,” said SPPD Crime Prevention Officer Richard Lee.

Besides the monetary costs, Lee said the burglaries also impact the victim as it delays the job completion time.

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Burglars, noted Lee, target building materials like wood, tile and copper pipes. “When the house is near completion, burglars will target appliances, light and plumbing fixtures,” he said.

Lee said securing a house under remodel can be difficult, depending on the stage of construction. “Until the house can be secured by windows and doors, a good security fence should always be used,” insisted Lee.

The police officer said temporary security cameras can be installed at any time. “Post signs at the front indicating that surveillance cameras are in use,” he stressed. “At night, be sure to have good lighting.”

Encourage neighbors, explained Lee, to help keep an eye on your residence. “Burglars will often come at night, so know the city construction times,” he said. “Be cautious if you see any worker during prohibited hours, they may be thieves posing as a worker.”

Construction times in city are Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturdays 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sundays and city-recognized holidays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Lee stressed the importance of always having home addresses visible from the street. “This will assist first responders to locate your house,” he said.