Construction site crime involves dozens of stolen appliances

NewsChannel 10

Amarillo, Texas - An overnight burglary at an Amarillo hotel construction site is puzzling police.

The crime that involves dozens of stolen appliances at the Candlewood Suites on Western Plaza is just one in a recent string of construction site crimes that are becoming very costly for builders.

It's a crime that's leaving police with many questions and few leads. With no suspects at this time, it's a matter of figuring out how it was done, if it's linked to other similar crimes, and where all the stolen items are going.

Sgt. Brent Barbee with the Amarillo Police Department says, "The average construction site offers a lot of opportunity for thieves. There are tools and raw materials. As the prices of raw materials and metal go up, it makes these things even more tempting. Very often there are a lot of people in and out and by those sites everyday. Many people will see and know the type of items available."

The suspects gained entry into the hotel by breaking out a window. Then they proceeded to steal 97 brand new microwaves still in their boxes, at least 6 new dishwashers, and a number of 42-inch TV's.

Which leads some to believe the crime was well organized and the items may have been sold before they were even stolen.

Lew Bradshaw with the Texas Panhandle Builders Association explains, "With a lot of the theft that occurs, they will take the items to Lubbock, Albuquerque or Oklahoma City with plans to sell it to people that buy stuff like that. With the volumes at the hotel yesterday, that's pretty serious."

Often it happens right under your nose.

Bradshaw says, "You will notice the same vehicles there daily. If there is something that really stands out, out-of-state-tags or a vehicle that is unmarked or doesn't have one of the local lumber yards or distributors, you can say wait a minute, that doesn't fit."

If you have any information about this burglary call Amarillo Crime Stoppers at 374-4400.