Someone is swiping lumber from local construction sites

A resident snapped photos as this truck was loaded with lumber after crews left for the day....
A resident snapped photos as this truck was loaded with lumber after crews left for the day. (Courtesy photo)(KWTX)
Published: May. 1, 2019 at 7:41 PM CDT
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Builders say it's happening across Central Texas.

Someone is swiping lumber from construction sites after crews leave for the day.

In the Bella Charca neighborhood in Nolanville, there are building materials on just about every block.

“If it’s happening to us, then it's happening to others,” says David Roebuck, construction manager for Symphony Homes.

His company is one of the local builders working in the neighborhood.

“It's not a builder or they're picking on one person,” he says.

“They don't care where they get it from, they’re looking for opportunity.”

Someone spotted that opportunity after a load of lumber was delivered Tuesday morning to the builder’s site.

Thirty minutes after the construction manager says he left for the day, some men pulled up in a black and red pickup and loaded the truck up with lumber.

“I don't know if they're just building a backyard deck or what they're building, but it's not the place to get the material, we know that,” Roebuck said.

The men left with framing lumber valued between $500 and $800.

What they didn’t know was that a nearby homeowner was watching and snapping pictures.

“You feel violated in a sense, even though it's material. When we build a home for someone, it's my baby before it’s theirs,” Roebuck said.

“And it is personal.”

The photos were sent to the builder who then shared with other companies to make sure the men in the pickup weren't workers who mixed up sites.

Local builders and the lumber supplier say these kinds of thefts happen often.

“It's hard to catch them, so when we have a photo of someone doing something- that's when we want to get the word out,” Roebuck said.

Roebuck says some companies may not think twice about a loss of lumber, but for small builders every dollar counts.

Symphony will have to eat the cost of the stolen lumber.

The company is working to get surveillance video of the neighborhood.

Nolanville police are investigating.

Authorities are asking anyone with information to call the Nolanville Police Department at (254) 698-6334.