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Vancouver police warn of construction site thefts amid rising lumber prices

Click to play video: 'Vancouver Police investigating spike in construction site thefts on city’s west side' Vancouver Police investigating spike in construction site thefts on city’s west side
Vancouver Police say they are investigating a spike in thefts from construction sites on the city's west side and as John Hua reports, soaring lumber prices may be fueling the heists – May 19, 2021

Vancouver police say they are investigating a spike in thefts from construction sites on the city’s west side.

At least seven construction sites have been targeted this year, police said. In one case, thieves got away with more than $10,000 in plywood.

Click to play video: 'High lumber prices fueling construction site thefts in Vancouver' High lumber prices fueling construction site thefts in Vancouver
High lumber prices fueling construction site thefts in Vancouver – May 19, 2021

“As lumber prices have continued to rise, VPD has seen a significant increase in break and enters to construction sites this year,” Sgt. Steve Addison said.

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“In many cases, the thieves have made off with thousands of dollars in plywood and other building materials. We’re encouraging site managers to take precautions to avoid future thefts.”

Read more: Home building on the rise in Saskatoon, creating ‘gold mine’ for lumber thieves: police

The most recent theft, which was reported May 10 at a construction site in Kerrisdale, saw three pallets of roofing shingles and 60 sheets of plywood stolen after being left unsecured for several days.

Police said there have been similar thefts at sites in the areas of Arbutus Ridge, Kitsilano, Marpole and Dunbar.

Read more: Why are thieves across Canada stealing catalytic converters?

Police are not sure if one or more thieves are responsible for the thefts, but they do believe whoever is responsible is using a large truck or van given the number of materials being stolen.

Police say construction crews should plan ahead so there are no extra materials lying around. They also say extra materials should be left on an upper floor of the building under construction or a heavy object like the forks of a forklift should be placed on top of the materials so thieves can’t easily access them.

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