MOUNT VERNON, Wash. -
New homes were damaged and materials were stolen in a rash of construction site thefts in Mount Vernon this week.
Between Monday and Wednesday, thieves entered construction sites in the East Division area, specifically Barry Loop, Lilly Lane and Chestnut Loop, stealing wire, construction materials, tools and other valuables, police said.
In one case, a contractor arrived at a site to find most of the wiring in a new home had been cut out of the walls. All the work and materials had to be redone and replaced.
Law enforcement said security planning for construction sites is challenging because most sites are undeveloped with limited lighting or other security devices. But the sites in the Mount Vernon area are typically surrounded by occupied neighborhoods or roads with homeowners and passing vehicles.
In light of the thefts, police are asking neighbors to scan construction sites for circumstances that appear out of place and asked them to consider the following:
- Does the time of day coincide with the construction activity you're witnessing?
- Do the vehicles and workers match the site signage or what you'd expect?
- Is there construction activity occurring or only a single vehicle at the site?
- Are vehicles being loaded with construction material?
Anyone who sees anything suspicious is asked to take note of license plates, descriptions of vehicles and suspicious people and call 911.
Police said the thefts drive up costs and affects the affordability of homes.