PRAIRIE GROVE, Ark. (KNWA) - The Prairie Grove Police Department is trying to track down thieves who are targeting construction zones.
Since the community is growing so rapidly, new houses are being built constantly and it's something thieves are capitalizing on.
"They'll take anything that's not tied down basically," says Jerry Coyle, the owner of Coyle Enterprises.
Jerry Coyle has built custom homes in Prairie Grove for decades. Recently, he's experienced something like never before.
"I used to brag that I've never had anything stolen on my jobs and then this year it seems like it has just been chronic. Right now people are just scavenging for anything they can find," he explains.
More than $8,000 worth of equipment has been stolen from Coyle in the last 6 months. It's something the police department is seeing across several subdivisions.
"We've noticed an increase in thefts that are beginning to occur at these construction sites. Just random thefts whether it's doors, windows, lumber, different building materials, tools, and appliances," says Captain Jeff O'Brien with the Prairie Grove Police Department.
Since construction sites aren't constantly patrolled by police, officers are having trouble tracking down the criminals.
"There's a lot of people, a lot of transient people coming in and out of these areas, so it makes a little bit more difficult to investigate and to determine who is actually doing the stealing," O'Brien continues.
According to police, anyone could be committing these crimes. It's something Coyle found out firsthand.
"I did have some stuff stolen and I found out that it was one of my workers that stole some tools and some other things on another job," Coyle says.
Police say they are determined to make arrests in these cases.
"It's more difficult to investigate, however we have ways and avenues to utilize those types of tools to hopefully catch who's doing this," says O'Brien.
Police say just this weekend two more construction site thefts were reported. They are currently investigating and plan to make arrests in these cases.
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