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Vancouver police warn of spike in construction thefts as lumber prices rise


VANCOUVER — Construction companies in Vancouver are being encouraged to take extra precautions to prevent theft as the cost of lumber surges. 

Vancouver police say the department has seen a "significant increase" in break and enters at construction sites this year. 

Sgt. Steve Addison says in many cases the thieves have made off with thousands of dollars' worth of plywood and other building materials. 

On May 10, Addison says three pallets of roofing shingles and 60 sheets of plywood were taken after being left unsecured at a construction site. 

He says police have had reports of thefts in at least seven construction sites since January, and in one case thieves got away with more than $10,000 worth of plywood. 

Police in several other provinces have reported similar thefts coinciding with the ballooning cost of lumber.  

Addison says police don't know yet if the thefts in Vancouver are the work of one or more thieves. 

"But due to the amount of materials being stolen, it’s likely the thieves are using a large truck or moving van." 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 19, 2021. 

The Canadian Press

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