Thieves taking advantage of Pasco County's new construction

Latest theft caught on video
Posted at 5:10 PM, Apr 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-17 17:10:44-04

ODESSA, Fla. — There is a lot of new construction going on in Pasco County, and thieves are taking notice.

“We are a growing county. As we grow there are more construction sites. More construction sites are more opportunities for this type of theft,” said Detective Bryan Birge.

The latest theft was caught on surveillance video Saturday in a new subdivision in Odessa.

Investigators say two men posed as contractors and loaded a dishwasher and stove into the back of their pick up.

“The rest of the crews that were on the scene realized this is not how we do business. This isn’t normal for us, and started to almost kind of chase them off; which is why they left in such a hurry,” said Birge.

Video picked them up driving off so fast that one of the appliances fell off the truck.

You can see them back up and actually knock into it, before they put it back and take off.

This is a constant problem for builders all around Tampa Bay, especially at homes under construction with no one living in them yet.

Appliances are the main target. But thieves will grab anything they can, including air conditioning units, lightning fixtures, pool pumps, and tile.

Some builders will wait until just before closing before installing some high dollar items. 

They try and secure homes, but with so many different contractors and subcontractors coming in and out of neighborhoods, it’s hard to know who really belongs.

“You don’t get a lot of forensic evidence because so many process those scenes. You could take 800 finger prints and they could all be legitimate workers,” said Birge.

Deputies did arrest two contractors stealing from a Wesley Chapel neighborhood last year. 

That happened because neighbors noticed something didn’t seem right. It may be up to those living around building sites to watch over homes.

Deputies still haven’t caught the two men seen in the video.

But they say to be on the lookout for somebody trying to a sell you an appliance that literally looks like it was run over by a truck.

If you have any information on the theft, call 1-800-706-2488.