Construction site thefts a growing problem in Kelowna - InfoNews

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Construction site thefts a growing problem in Kelowna

Little Lakes Contracting's trailer was stolen from a job site in Black Mountain earlier this week.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/Mandy Little
March 27, 2019 - 4:15 PM

KELOWNA - Hugh Little is on the hunt for his trailer.

Little, the owner of Little Lakes Contracting Ltd., left his trailer full of equipment at a work site on Black Mountain overnight. When he returned to the site on March 25, the trailer was gone. He lost tool pouches, brackets, nailing guns, ladders, and other items that were stored in the trailer.

The losses totalled several hundred dollars, although Little does have insurance. For a relatively small company like Little Lakes, such a theft can be harsh blow.

"People take it all and you have to put your life on hold," he said.

Little's stolen trailer provides a glimpse into a growing theft problem in Kelowna. Little said he's spoken with dozens of people who've had their construction equipment stolen from work sites over the last few months.

"It's getting worse," he said.

Kelowna RCMP Insp. Paul MacDougall confirmed construction site thefts are a serious prolbem in and around the city. He said thieves seem to prefer to target sites in the Highway 97 corridor at night and early morning, pinching small and large items.

He said the Highway 97 corridor may also be a popular target area for criminals because it allows them to raid sites and make speedy getaways down the highway. They'll take everything from power tools to Bobcats and even utility trailers, hooking them to their vehicles and driving away.

While many thefts appear random, MacDougall said some of the thefts in the recent past indicate a level of organization. There are suspicions that items stolen in Kelowna and are transported to Alberta and other provinces for quick sale. He says there is "some degree of sophistication."

"It's not crackheads doing this," Little said. "It's an organized group."

MacDougall said the RCMP are in constant contact with construction companies to make sure their sites are secure overnight.

Little, who said he hasn't heard much from the RCMP after reporting his trailer's theft, is hoping for a break in his case. He's received video footage showing a white Hummer appearing to steal the trailer. 

To contact a reporter for this story, email Sean Mott or call (250) 864-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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