Hot water units hot targets for thieves across building sites.

Recent spikes in thefts of hot water units are highlighting the growing need for GPS tracking devices to be applied to electrical appliances and whitegoods in new home builds and display villages.

Investigations conducted by PACT Site Security has seen offenders being charged and recently prosecuted for various thefts involving hot water units.

Pact Site Security attended Midland Magistrates Court on 5 March regarding charges against a female person who was in possession of a stolen hot water unit which was stolen from a BGC Residential site.

The hot water unit was advertised on Gumtree and investigations conducted by PACT Site securityconfirmed it was stolen. After liaising with Midland Detectives, a search warrant was executed and the property recovered. The female offender is currently serving a 12-month sentence for robbery and was transferred to court to appear before the magistrate after pleading not guilty. She subsequently pleaded guilty to all charges and was fined $800.

In another case, ongoing investigations into the theft of hot water units in the southern suburbs resulted in PACT Site Security liaising with Mandurah detectives to execute a search warrant at an address in Golden Bay. Police located a stolen hot water unit and evidence of the sale of another hot water unit sold through social media buy and sell pages. As a result, an adult male has been charged with Burglary, stealing and receiving in addition to Possession and Cultivation of Cannabis.

Building crime partners PACT Site Security advocate the installation of the GPS tracking devices, together with a 24/7 crime hotline for reporting of incidents, security patrols of the display villages and liaison with police to ensure offenders are charged.

The devices can be added to any assets including televisions, fridges and hot water systems to deter and prevent further thefts and damage and ensure that high value goods can be returned to the company. CCTV cameras in the display home locations can also be added so that perpetrators can be positively identified following the incidents.

Builders such as BGC Residential are looking to further expand the total number of trackers across housing sites in the Perth Metro and South West regions, and believe that further investment in technology in this space, will reduce building site theft, and increase the number of successful convictions. This will benefit the entire residential construction industry including trades, customers and builders.

Craig Pages-Oliver