The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) estimates as much as $1 billion in metals and equipment is stolen from construction sites each year. And a 2009-2011 report by the NICB revealed that metal theft claims jumped 81 percent over numbers from 2006-2008, an increase driven by the economic downturn and the rising price of base metals.
Thieves are looking for more than metals. Equipment theft is also a significant threat to contractors and subs. According to the NCIB, in 2010 there were 13,374 reports of heavy equipment theft, valued at around $400 million, of which only 19 percent was recovered. This year, 43 percent of thefts were reported in just five states, Texas, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.