Police: Thieves hit construction sites ‘pretty regularly’ 

Construction sites may be rife for all kinds of shenanigans,but the Millbrae Police Department says it’s keeping a careful watch on these places around town.

The city’s log of police calls over the month of March shows that officers are regularly showing up to construction sites around town — either because of a phoned-in tip or as part of their routine beat travels. The calls range from reports of a suspicious person milling around the area, to kids playing pranks to actual theft of pricey tools and construction equipment.

Calls and patrols to the site happen day and night in all areas of town as well.

A residential home construction project located at 359 Paramount Drive reportedly made repeated calls for check-ups, although when police arrived, there were no signs of forced entry or burglary.

On March 10, three juveniles were spotted hiding in construction sites on the unit block of Palm Avenue, the same ones suspected of toilet papering a home nearby. Residents have reported suspicious people standing outside a site at 508 Juanita Ave.; and some have notified police of sites with garage doors open.

"Thefts are our primary concern," police Sgt. John Aronis said. "It happens pretty regularly."

In an effort to stop the deviant behavior before it happens, beat officers make an effort to visit these sites regularly, night or day, due to the reported thefts, Aronis said. During the passing checks, which have most recently taken place at sites on Clearfield Drive, Alta Loma and La Prenda, all on the western edge of town, police advise crews to secure their tools and equipment before closing up for the day, Aronis said.

While most of the calls appear to be to smaller residential projects, major construction sites around town are not immune. A security alarm went off at 2 a.m. at the brand-new development at 88 South Broadway, where crews are still putting the finishing touches on.

"When you know that nobody is in thereafter a certain time, it makes it seem pretty easy to just go in there and take whatever you want," Aronis said.

Longtime resident Marge Colapietro said that regardless of the type of project, property owners and construction crews should pay close attention to keeping coveted items out of sight.

"They’re ultimately responsible for safeguarding the property and the valuables on that site," Colapietro said.

tramroop@examiner.com

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