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Bartow, Fla. (Oct. 20, 2021) — Building is booming in Polk County and so are construction-related thefts, according to feedback received by the Polk County Building Division.

“It really isn’t a surprise to us,” said Building Director Benjamin Dunn. “With the shortages of supplies, skyrocketing inflation and supply chain issues, unsecured building supplies are a beacon to criminals looking for an easy pay day.”

But a local construction jobsite doesn’t have to be easy pickings. This is a problem that both homeowners and builders can work together to combat. All it takes is a few adjustments on how a building site is secured.

A few tips on securing a construction site include:

  • Lock all doors and garages on homes when valuable materials and supplies are within the home;
  • Store lumber on the rear of the property when feasible to make it more difficult to take;
  • Secure the plywood delivered in a bunk to make it more difficult to take;
  • Install security cameras or affordable game cameras throughout the neighborhood under construction;
  • In following the guidelines set in Florida statute 810.09, place a sign on the property with specific wording that enhances criminal penalties;
  • In extreme situations of theft, hiring of a security company to patrol the construction sites may help; and
  • Coordinate with local law enforcement to hire off-duty deputies or police officers to help combat individuals engaging in theft. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office guidelines are here: http://www.polksheriff.org/programs-services/extra-duty-deputy-employment

“We want everyone to be able to protect their home and property, whether or not they are living in it at the time,” Dunn added. “Just because it may be a construction job site, doesn’t mean there aren’t victims affected by this.”

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