Thieves swiping lumber from building websites


Thieves aim at wood

As the price of wood has skyrocketed due to the pandemic, police say thieves have started targeting it.

Anyone who’s done DIY projects in the past few months knows that wood prices have gone through the roof. Police thieves are now stealing wood from new building sites.

“It doesn’t surprise me. It’s all very valuable at this point,” said Dan Cox of Peach State Lumber.

Wood is in short supply. Anyone who finds them pays significantly more than a year ago. Cox said people should blame COVID-19 for this. When the pandemic broke out, sawmills had to close and are still trying to catch up.

“After COVID, the mills didn’t have enough workers, not enough logs to make material. Once they get it, it takes six to eight months to produce the wood, ”said Cox.

Of course, with people stuck at home for a year, many started doing projects around the home and demand increased.

“Closets, mill work, bookcases, decks, whatever the woman wanted,” said Cox.

The costs for freight and shipping are also rising, so that wood suddenly attracts thieves.

“As lumber prices go up, people come out and steal lumber from construction sites,” said Shenise Barner, Cobb County police officer.

Cobb County police said they had received multiple reports of thefts from new home construction sites.

“They’re hauling a decent amount of wood. They come out in various trucks and trailers, load everything up and take it with you,” Officer Barner said.

Police warn contractors and others to secure everything they can, don’t leave wood lying around, make sure someone is there when a shipment comes in, and invest in cameras whenever possible. Police also said builders should make sure other neighborhood residents keep an eye out for theft.

Cox said he expected prices to fall by the end of summer. Hopefully wood isn’t quite as appealing to thieves at this point.

WATCH: FOX 5 Atlanta Live Coverage


Sign up for FOX 5 email notifications

Download the FOX 5 Atlanta app for breaking news and weather warnings.