Crime Rates Rise During Spring Construction - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Crime Rates Rise During Spring Construction

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The weather is finally permitting us to spend more time outdoors.

For construction crews, that means more work. But, for some, it's a prime opportunity for crime.

Valley News Team's Hope Hanselman traveled to West Fargo, where new developments are popping up and much of their equipment is going missing.

"We're going to be busy," Tim Runcorn, a detective with the West Fargo Police, laughed as he took a breath from a hectic Monday.

Outside, construction crews are picking up equipment.

Inside, investigators are picking up theft reports.

"We're going to be shooting up there with one of the biggest booms this town has had when it comes to structures being built in this city," Runcorn said.

As the city of West Fargo grows, Runcorn says so is its crime rate. And the newest part of town is being hit hardest.

"For the most part, we're getting a lot of tools stolen, so they're breaking in the trailers or houses and stealing a lot of power tools," Runcorn said. "But, we've actually had a couple scenarios or incidences where people are actually pulling up to the entire trailer and taking that away."

Each week, Runcorn gets a handful of reports around construction sites, including one from this team building near Freedom Elementary.

"Our trailer was locked, they cut the trailer lock and took the chop saws," Jared Bjerke, a project foreman, said.

Bjerke says losing two chop saws set his team back a few hundred dollars, but it's a high price to pay this late in the season.

"We're running behind schedule because of the late Spring, and when stuff walks off, it hurts us."

This Spring there are more workers around these homes than neighbors. But it's the action you don't see that's piling up on this detective's desk.

"Anything you see suspicious in your area, or just people going into areas they don't belong, it does not hurt to call," Runcorn advised.

West Fargo Police say they expect thefts to rise as the weather gets warmer, and that include car break-ins. This comes as a reminder to everyone to keep doors locked.

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