Construction site theft driving up home prices
People in Nova Scotia's construction business say prices for new homes are being pushed up, partly because of construction site theft.
Sometime between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, six homes under construction on Gary Martin Drive in Bedford were broken into.
Joseph Daniel, the general manager of Cresco Developments Ltd., said two natural gas furnaces and four air exchangers were stolen. He estimated it would cost about $30,000 to replace the stolen equipment and repair the vandalism.
"It disgusts me to see that because it's not just the theft factor, it's the vandalism factor," Daniel told CBC News.
"We put a lot of energy into our homes. We take a lot of pride in our homes and to see someone ransack them like that is very discouraging."
Daniel said the thieves seem to be professionals because they know exactly what they want and how to uninstall items such as furnaces and windows.
Paul Pettipas, the CEO of the Nova Scotia Home Builders' Association, said builders have found lists on their job sites that have fallen out of the thieves' pockets.
"It's a listing of the items they're looking for," he said Wednesday.
"Someone will come to them and say, 'I need this, this and this. Go steal it.' And they will go around to job sites and steal it."
Builders estimate construction site vandalism and theft accounts for about $1,000 of the price of a new home.
Pettipas said it's difficult to pin down who might be responsible.
"Could be persons building their own home, could be persons renovating. I mean, you get all kinds of people looking," he said.
"The old story before was, if you wanted building materials, just got to one of the local taverns, there'd be someone sitting in there that could help you with it."
Pettipas said many construction sites have security, but that crew is usually making rounds to various other construction sites during the overnight hours.
Halifax Regional Police said there are no leads on the Gary Martin Drive thefts and what was stolen is likely gone for good.