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With material costs soaring, construction site thefts are on the rise

It's leading homebuilders and safety advocates to take action
With material costs soaring, construction site thefts are on the rise in Colorado Springs
Posted at 11:58 AM, Jun 09, 2021

COLORADO SPRINGS — As prices of building materials continue to soar, local homebuilders say construction site thefts are on the rise, leading them to take action against thieves.

The Housing & Building Association of Colorado Springs (HBA) is teaming up with Pikes Peak Area Crime Stoppers after they say reports of jobsite thefts are steadily rising in the area.

“There’s so many pieces and parts of building a home,” said Grace Covington, owner of Colorado Springs-based Covington Homes. “When one little piece gets impacted, it snowballs.”

“You know, it’s frankly disappointing,” Covington said.

While her crews are already trying to build houses at warp speed they are already short in providing a needed 24,000 additional homes, a goal that thieves are setting back.

“If it’s sitting there in a stack, in a pile, they will steal it,’” she said.

“The average lumber cost for homes has increased 200 percent in the last year,” said Nick Starkey, Director of Production for Vantage Homes.

Each time materials disappear, so do potential homeowners.

“For every $1,000 increase in the cost of a home, that takes 250 people out of this market who cannot afford the homes,” Covington said.

And for the workers building these homes, their livelihoods are at stake.

“They show up and the materials are not there for them to work,” Starkey said.

“So they show up, and if they don’t work a day, they don’t get a day’s wage,” Covington said.

It’s why numerous local homebuilders are now teaming up.

“It’s affecting us all,” said Renee Zentz, CEO of HBA Colorado Springs.

In partnership with Pikes Peak Area Crime stoppers, HBA Colorado Springs is offering a thousand-dollar reward for anyone who has information that can lead to an arrest--totally anonymously.

“The beauty of our system is that it can give people who know something a chance to provide that information but never be identified,” said Don Addy, Board Chair for Pikes Peak Area Crime Stoppers.

So if you’re a thief, consider yourself warned.

“We need to catch you,” Covington said. “If you’re stealing this lumber, we need to catch you in the act.”

If you have any information about who these thieves are, you can call pikes peak crime stoppers at 719-634-stop to report them anonymously.