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Thieves Steal Lumber From Construction Site In Denver As Cost Of Materials Skyrockets Due To Shortage

DENVER (CBS4) - Thieves targeted a construction site early Sunday morning near Colorado Boulevard and Colfax Avenue in Denver. Security camera footage shows them getting away with $5,000 worth of lumber.

LUMBER THEFTS SHORTAGES 10 PKG.transfer_frame_272
(credit: CBS)

"It was 6 a.m. They stole lumber and were in and out in, I don't know, 10 or 15 minutes?" said Kyle Arienta, owner of Precision Design, a renovation and construction design company contracted for the project. "Seven months ago, that was probably worth $1,500 and they probably wouldn't want to steal it."

Arienta also lives a block away from the site. He says prices for plywood are up 200% from a year ago, due to the ongoing lumber shortage.

"On top of being difficult to get, I could see why a thief would want access to it," Arienta said. "It probably would have a quick cash market for smaller builders who are willing to pay cash."

The wood was tied down behind a secure fence. Arienta said it's more than just stolen supplies.

LUMBER THEFTS SHORTAGES 10 PKG.transfer_frame_405
(credit: CBS)

"You've got to buy it again. You've got to schedule the deliveries, in this case it rained, it was even more of a delay. The site got messy, so it kind of spiraled out of control," said Arienta. "A $5,000 theft might have been $7,500 in the grand scheme of things with the delays and what we had to pay the people that were unable to work."

Now out thousands of dollars, Arienta has advice for homeowners and contractors in the same situation.

"Make sure you have insurance," said Arienta. "Make it difficult for them to steal it."

Arienta filed a report with the Denver Police Department.

RELATED: Home Improvement Sticker Shock In Colorado: Lumber Shortage Drives Prices Up 180%

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