In what appears to be a more common occurrence, thieves are taking roofing supplies from businesses and job sites, leaving behind nothing but a sense of hopelessness and frustration for business owners.
But thanks to some quick police work, a Utah-based roofing company can rest easy after recovering nearly $40,000 in stolen supplies.
According to a story from NBC-affiliated KSL-TV, Nick Jex of Artistic Roofing in Ogden showed up to a job site in Sandy with a roofing crew on Oct. 3. When they arrived to take on the commercial roofing job, they discovered 19,000 pounds of roofing materials stored on site were gone.
“My heart hit my stomach,” Jex told KSL-TV.
Jex called the Sandy Police, and detectives went to work, examining the job site for tire marks and footprints. They also checked nearby businesses to see if any of them captured anything on surveillance cameras.
“There are so many cameras that are out there these days. It’s really nice to have these businesses invest a little bit of money to protect their business,” said Sgt. Greg Moffitt, with Sandy Police Department.
Those investments paid off for Artistic Roofing. KSL-TV reports video footage shows four different camera angles of a pickup truck slowly driving by while pulling a trailer. Detectives managed to zoom in and capture a still image of the license plate, which led them to a house in Midvale. When they pulled up, they knew they nabbed the right suspect.
“When they showed up he had a trailer full of stuff in the driveway and opened up the garage there was all the rest of it,” Jex told KSL-TV.
An officer from the Crime Suppression Unit along with detectives from Property Crimes worked together to recover over $40,000 in construction and roofing materials that were stolen from a job site, locating it at a residence less than 2 hours after it was reported stolen. pic.twitter.com/H9EwHFF69H— Sandy Police (@Sandy_Police) October 4, 2023
Police said the culprit is a man in his 60s and suspect he planned on selling the stolen materials, which were valued at $40,000. Police are also determining if he had help, as moving that much roofing supplies might’ve required more than one person.
Jex was on the roof when he received the good news that police had recovered the materials. It reportedly took just about two hours to locate the stolen supplies.
“Everybody was like ‘What they found it? Already?’” Jex said. “I was so excited I called my boss. I called the owner of the company.”
Jex called it a “big win” to have it solved so quickly, adding that around this time of the year, these jobs help provide holiday paychecks and bonuses.
Other roofing companies haven’t been as fortunate, such as in May when $14,000 worth of roofing materials were stolen from a job site in Fort Myers, Fla. However, there are ways for roofing contractors to fight back, as an Oklahoma roofing contractor recently proved with the use of Apple AirTags.