NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) — There has been a spike in thefts at construction sites on the North Shore according to a homebuilder and the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office.
“It’s always been there, but it’s extreme, it’s gotten to the point where it’s out of control,” said Andy Northcutt of DSLD Homes.
Northcutt says there are thefts over $50,000 at a time. Complete sets of roofing or siding, appliances, lumber, doors and windows, all stolen after delivery to sites.
“They’re reselling it, they’re using it on their own home projects, lately we found the last guy was using in one of his homes he was about to flip locally,” Northcutt said.
In this case, a man stole $40,000 worth of supplies from the Ponchatoula area, which Northcutt and his team were able to track down, recover, and deliver a suspect to Tangipahoa Sheriff’s Deputies.
On Tuesday in Covington, they had to recover $8,000 from cupboards. Deputies arrested 38-year-old Jessie Green.
“With the help of advanced technology, good landlords and neighbors in the neighborhood we are building in, and the help of law enforcement, we are able to catch people more and more often and we will pursue it every time,” Northcutt said.
It’s so important, but not just because of the rising cost of building materials.
Northcutt says thieves might think the losses just disappear into a big company’s budget, but the truth is that it affects more people than they might imagine.
“It will impact the builder, the on-site supervisor, it will impact the trades as well,” Northcutt said. “The trades show up to do the work and the materials are not there. They have what we call a “dry run”. They lost money in fuel time and they have to find a way to catch up when we replace materials, which doubles our cost at that time.
That’s why Northcutt says homebuilders are getting creative and fighting this growing problem.
“Enough is enough,” Northcutt said. “If you come to the Northshore and you steal from one of our local builders, we’re going to sue them, we’re going to help everybody, whether it’s their competitors or another builder, we’re going to help find out who robbed them. done and help try to recover whatever we can.
The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office stresses the importance of reporting incidents like this, saying they have heard of numerous thefts in developments that have gone unreported.
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