Building site thefts on the rise

11th February 2005, Comments 0 comments

11 February 2005, BRUSSELS – Thieves are striking at more and more building sites, stealing everything from materials to bulldozers.

11 February 2005

BRUSSELS – Thieves are striking at more and more building sites, stealing everything from materials to bulldozers.

The growing problem is costing companies and the insurance industry dearly, according to reports in Het Nieuwsblad and La Derniere Heure.

Companies working on road repairs fall victim most often to theft, since road sites are difficult to protect.

"No one is surprised to see lorries at night or at the weekend," explained Marc Delaby, secretary general of the Walloon Federation of Highway Maintenance.

He said it was materials that were most often stolen, ranging from pipes to plants.

"It’s not unusual for a worker to find small trees have been stolen that he planted the day before," said Delaby.

"But the most serious thefts obviously concern machines and electrical equipment. People steal cranes, levellers and bulldozers from us. And some large construction machines cost several hundreds of thousands of euros."

While materials are stolen by all kinds of individuals, in the case of large machinery, organised gangs are probably involved.

"They aren’t Belgian companies who are reusing the stolen material: everyone recognises it and we’d find out very quickly," said Delaby.

"It’s likely that the stolen vehicles go abroad, probably to eastern countries."

Insurance company Axa said there had been a rise in the number of claims for thefts from building sites, particularly for machinery like Bobcats, cranes and compressors.

"Everything is being stolen, even bathrooms and complete heating installations that have just been put in," said a spokesperson for Axa.

[Copyright Expatica 2005]

Subject: Belgian news

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