The Thief in New Hamburg

thief title

I never thought it would happen in our beautiful and safe New Hamburg. But it has.

We have experienced 5 different break-ins over the past 15 months. According to Bob Zehr, owner of Nith Valley Construction, this is not uncommon. He has experienced thefts at all his job sites and other contractors have the same problem.thief 3Bob thinks that the thefts are committed not by the men on the job, but by outsiders.  The men from the different trades on the jobs know and trust each other and would not likely do this.  Bob believes it is local people from the region who target construction sites; perhaps even local people….

The thefts from our site have been relatively small – small enough to be under the companies’ deductibles.  However, it simply means that the companies have to pay out of their pockets to replace the stolen items.  If the companies were to submit claims to their insurance companies, their rates would rise.  They can’t win.

We have security cameras inside and outside the building:  we are now adding more.thief oneThe first theft occurred in June 2014 when someone cut and stole the ground wire [probably for the copper] for the newly installed temporary electrical service.  Nith Valley had to replace the wire. The thief was lucky he wasn’t electrocuted.

The second theft occurred in September 2014.  Nith Valley had a locked tool chest inside the building.  On a weekend, someone broke in and stole all the tools. This was about a $2500 replacement for Nith Valley.

In June of 2015 during the day, someone entered the site and  stole a battery charger that was plugged in along with batteries.  This may appear to be a small theft but it occurred during working hours and the items belonged to one of our student workers.

The largest of the thefts occurred in early July 2015.  Our framers, Contract Framers, had a job box storage container outside filled with their tools and other sundries.  One night, the lock was broken off and everything was removed from the trailer. Contract Framers had to replace everything at a great cost.

The fifth theft occurred in August 2015.  30′ of BX wire that ran behind the new sign band was pulled out from behind the sign band and stolen for its copper value.  Our electrician has to run new wire behind the band which will not be easy. Electricomm will spend over $200 to replace the wiring and we will pay for the labour again.

The sad thing about stealing the wiring is that the salvage value is just pennies of the replacement value.  It is simply malicious behaviour.

Few things upset me, but this does. I have become disillusioned with people whose intentional or unintentional acts hurt others. Why do people feel compelled to steal from work sites? This site is for the betterment of New Hamburg.  Why would someone want to do this?

What is the answer?  Is it necessary to arm our site with security guards or vicious guard dogs?  I would choose the latter.

Maybe this one:

chich guard dog

Or maybe this one:

vicious guard dog