Construction Burglaries

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Background

Construction sites in Atherton are frequently targeted for theft. In fact, they are one of the more common burglary crimes encountered in our jurisdiction. The thieves typically cut the locks on the cyclone fence gates and use drills or torches to open job boxes or cargo containers. They target tools and materials such as copper.

While we do our best to patrol sites at night and on weekends, it is impossible for our Officers to be everywhere at once. This is especially true when we have service calls or incidents which prevent us from proactively patrolling.

Enforcement

To help combat this problem, the Town of Atherton has implemented strict construction hours. As the Police Department patrols during “off hour” periods, we will contact people who are on job sites to ensure they are authorized.

Prevention

To prevent construction site thefts, we recommend that no valuable items be kept at the site when construction crews are not present. Of course, this may not be practical or the contractor may be willing to tolerate some risk.

If tools and equipment remain on site, we recommend that the site be secured and lit. The gate should be locked with a chain / padlock which can be easily seen by a patrol car using a spotlight. Motion sensor lights also act as a deterrent to those who target construction sites.

Cameras can be useful in collecting evidence after a site has been burglarized. But, given the challenges with lighting and resolution, we rarely are able to garner enough evidence to track down those responsible. Unless the cameras are actively monitored, they are not a good prevention mechanism.