GPS tracking on construction sites gets results.

Two males from Thornlie have been charged in relation to the theft of a hot water system from a construction site in Treeby on 3 January 2019.

The unit had been fitted with a GPS tracking device by builder BGC’s crime prevention partners,PACT who manage and protect building sites against crime during the construction phase.

The tracking systems, which are fitted to appliances such as ovens, whitegoods, hot-water systems and more, trigger an alert when the item moves beyond a perimeter and tracks the item to the new location. The PACT team then report the theft so that WA police can respond.

The GPS trackers installed by PACT on sites around Perth have led to 9 activations over the past 7 months with recovered property valued in excess of $10,000.

In this case the stolen hot water system was tracked to a Thornlie address, where PACT investigators liaised with Police to execute a search warrant and located it at the property.

Further inquiries by PACT revealed that the Impressions built home had recently been handed over to the new owners just prior to Christmas with the new owner planning to move in early in the new year. The owners were very pleased to hear that their hot water unit had been recovered by their builder and the PACT team. ‘It would have been terrible to start our new home journey with cold showers and a sour taste in our mouths, we are just really happy that they got it back for us. We feel very lucky, it’s a great idea.”

BGC Residential executive general manager Paul O’Donnell said the company took action and works closely with PACT “We are very proactive when it comes to onsite crime and report all incidents through the PACT online reporting facility. We implemented a GPS strategy in May 2018 and have certainly noticed a reduction in theft of whitegoods since commencing the strategy with PACT”.

Matt Cooper from the technology provider GPS Tracking Systems added “Evidence has shown that

once word gets out that GPS tracking has been added to high-value assets on the building sites, theft

levels are reducing,” he said.

MBA WA executive director John Gelavis wants to address the issue as the cost and impact on the industry is significant.”

“It’s a problem that is very serious and has caused a lot of stress and cost to both builders and their clients,” Mr Gelavis said.

“Most of the theft comes when a project is nearing completion, where there is more potential for a would-be thief to steal, whether it’s whitegoods, fittings, sound systems.

“During construction you have potential for contractors’ tools, equipment or materials to be stolen.”

Ex-police officer Craig Pages-Oliver from construction crime specialists ‘PACT’ is already seeing positive changes from the industry activation; ‘Reporting is one of the most important, and over- looked, actions. It is critical to report incidents no matter how small. This allows WA Police to activate in the crime hot spots and support the builders on the ground. The demands on site managers is high and it often gets sidelined, this is where we can help.’