Thieves taking advantage of housing boom

Posted at 2:01 PM, Mar 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-12 11:26:45-05

It's no secret that new housing developments are popping up all across the Denver metro area. Thieves are taking advantage getting on rooftops and taking what isn't theirs.

Thousands of dollars of roofing material has been taken in the dark. Denver7 talked with one man who helps run AVI Roofing & Gutters based out of Denver. He didn't want to be named.

"They are actually taking decking off the roof in the middle of the night, then lowering the material through the house, loading it in the garage and driving away," the man told Denver7 reporter Eric Lupher.

"The small roofing contractor is eating this," he said.

The same theft is happening in new developments in Castle Rock and other communities across the Front Range.

"It angers me because we can't catch these guys," said Sam Whinery with Alpen Construction & Development.

"We have to replenish the shingles on the roof and it costs my company money," Whinery said.

Denver7 talked with Castle Rock Police to see what they're doing to try and stop the overnight thefts.

"We've had about nine calls on thefts from construction sites since the beginning of the year," said Sergeant Tim Ratcliff.

Officers are now patrolling areas where police reports have been filed, but they need help from residents as well.

Police say if you see any kind of loading going on at night then you're likely witnessing an illegal activity. Roofers are not allowed to work in the dark.

"It's difficult to weed out exactly who is doing something illegal," said Sgt. Ratcliff. "If you see something loaded into a vehicle... that's not going to be right and we need to know about it."

Roofers are now starting to consider putting tracking devices on their materials so if those very materials move from a roof they'll know exactly where it is going.

The rise in thefts could also mean a rise in the cost of your next new home.

Whinery tells Denver7 roofers are being forced to raise their prices because they're losing so much on material theft. If it costs the home builder more to hire roofers that could very well affect how much the home will cost in the end.

If you notice suspicious activity near a housing development under construction, call your local police department.


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