Brad Bush, Senior Vice President, HUB International Florida
If it seems as though a lot more equipment, materials and supplies are vanishing from construction sites these days, it’s because they are. The construction industry across North America is getting battered by thieves as the building boom, supply scarcity and inflation make the rewards worth the risk. Contractors and their subs must put strong measures in place to manage against the losses, which can cost anywhere from $300 million to $1 billion annually.
Everything everywhere is vulnerable, as a handful of incidents in Florida illustrate: Green Roofing in Nokomis was a victim in a string of thefts from one site last year, losing $30,000 in thermoplastic materials and a robot welder. The Sarasota Manatee Roofing and Sheet Metal Contractors Association said equipment worth hundreds of thousands of dollars had been stolen in recent months. In February, a construction site in Port St. Lucie reported the theft of copper, wire, tools and generators worth $30,000, after thieves broke into several storage containers.
In 2021, a Hialeah man was arrested on felony charges for renting heavy construction equipment in Miami-Dade and Lee Counties, then selling it to third parties. With supply shortages, new equipment like skid steers are hard to find and used equipment commands premium prices. Read more.