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Container theft is a major problem on Danish construction sites

Updated: Nov 21, 2022

Thieves are particularly interested in construction site containers. Once the container is broken into, the valuable power tools typically disappear there first. In the aftermath, it is not unlikely that trailers will also disappear - perhaps to transport the stolen goods away.

A quick review of the available police daily reports reveals a clear picture. It is often construction site containers with power tools that the thieves target. This happened as recently as last week, the Funen Police report[1].

A construction site fence or a container lock on the container is no guarantee to avoid burglaries on empty construction sites after hours. When construction sites are left unattended, thieves have a good opportunity to move around undetected under cover of darkness. However, it's not as if thieves need a lot of time to empty a container of valuables.

- With a little training, thieves can easily break into a container and empty it of valuables in less than 90 seconds, says Lasse Østergaard-Jensen, founder of the security company SITE-SECURITY.

Extract from the danish Police's 24-hour report:

- At a construction site on Kirke Værløsevej, a container was broken into between Friday at 13.15 and Monday at 06.00, and a large amount of electrical tools were stolen from it. Similarly, a trailer parked at the site was also stolen during the same period.[2]

Guards keep thieves away

On a daily basis, SITE-SECURITY handles more than 1000 alarms from Danish construction sites with camera masts connected to the company's own guard centre. Via the camera masts, the control centre can call the intruders, turn on lights and start sirens.

- Our experience is that what works best in the fight against container thieves are guards who can react quickly to intruders, says Lasse and adds: "Often it is enough to tell the thieves that we have seen them through the camera masts. Then they quickly run away. If this is not enough, we also have good experience of turning on lights and sirens on the construction site. Only in less than 1% of cases do we have to call in physical guards or police to apprehend them.

One container thief uses an angle grinder to break into the container. Meanwhile, the other thief shields the light with scar sheets. The last container thief stands guard.

Container theft is costly for Danish construction sites

Container theft costs the construction industry a lot of money every year. Both in direct and indirect costs. It disrupts the working day and can, in the worst case, delay construction. When craftsmen are missing their tools, they cannot get on with the day's work.

Although theft from containers and construction sites in general is a major problem, many construction sites have not secured the area sufficiently. Lasse from SITE-SECURITY confirms the trend:

- I see builders all over the country playing Russian roulette in the hope that it is their particular construction site that falls off the radar of thieves. It is typically only the day after they have been robbed that they contact us. I think it's a pity, because this problem is so easy to get rid of for little money," says Lasse, adding: "Camera masters attached to a manned guard centre is a cheap solution because many companies pay for the guard who, with the help of our intelligent software, can monitor many areas at the same time. With the camera masts positioned high up, we actually have a better view than a physical guard walking around on the ground, concludes Lasse.

The thieves are about to open the container they have just welded the lock on.

About Site-Security

Site-Security is a security company that rents out active surveillance devices on a subscription basis. The monitoring is always connected to the company's own manned guard centre. The monitoring is used in particular for monitoring outdoor areas in the construction industry.

SITE-ECURITY is a Danish company that manufactures and services its own products from its factory in Esbjerg. The products are connected to our own software system.

Devices particularly suited container theft:

  • GO - surveillance with smoke screen

  • ONE - surveillance placed on the container

  • HORIZON - surveillance placed on top of the shed

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