|UFDC Home||myUFDC Home | Help|
This item has the following downloads:
JOBSITE SECURITY IN RESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION
A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF SCIENCE IN BUILDING CONSTRUCTION
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
I would like to thank my parents, Mr. and Mrs. Montealegre, the most important
people in my life. Without their help and their support throughout my university career
and now in graduate school this thesis would never have happened.
Also I want to thank God for the wisdom and the fortress he has given me to
achieve the goals in my life, because without Him nothing is possible.
Finally I want to express my sincere gratitude to Professor Jimmie Hinze for his
help, guidance, support and patience in the development of this document. Also special
thanks go to the rest of my committee members, Dr Robert C. Stroh and Dr. Leon
Wetherington and my friend Xinyu Huang for their assistance and supervision of this
TABLE OF CONTENTS
A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S ...................... .. .. ............. ....................................................ii
LIST OF TABLES ................................ .. .. ... .... ................. v
LIST OF FIGURES ............. .... ... ........ ......... ............... ..... ...... vii
A B S T R A C T ................................. ........... ............................ ................ ix
1 IN TR O D U C TIO N ............................................... .. .... ...... ........ .......
1.1 B background .................... .............................................................. 1
1.2 P purpose of the Study ................... ........................................................ 2
2 LITERATURE REVIEW ............................................................... .............. 4
3 M E T H O D O L O G Y ...................... .. .. ......... .. .. ..................... .............................. 11
4 R E S U L T S ......... .. .......................................................................................... 1 6
4.1 General Information About The Responding Companies............................ 16
4.1.1 H houses C om pleted per Y ear............................................... ... ................. 17
4 .1.2 D ev elopm ent Sites........................................................ .... ................ 18
4.1.3 Percentage Subcontracted ........................................................... ... 19
4.1.4 Measures to Ensure the Security of Individual Houses.......................... 21
4.1.5 Security Measures used when Projects are Located in Existing
Neighborhoods or Remote Areas. ...................................24
4.2 Theft .............................................................................. 26
4.2.1 Company's Theft Experiences and Value of these Thefts....... ........ 26
4.2.2 Types of Incidents Experienced. .................... .............. 30
4.2.3 Other M measures to Curtail Jobsite Theft ....... ... ............................... 34
4.2.4 Jobsite Layout ......................... .. .................. .......... .. ...... .. ........ 35
4.2.5 Incidents R reported to the Police.................................. .................... 36
4.2.6 Deductible on Insurance Policy........................ ................................. 38
4.2.7 Tool Theft Prevention ........................................................ .............. 39
4.2.8 Equipment Theft Prevention ......... .................. ............ ............. 41
4 .2 .9 W workers and T heft.................................................................... ............... 43
4 .3 V an dalism ...................... ..................... ... ......................... .......... .................. 44
4.3.1 Company's Vandalism Experiences and Value of these Incidents........44
4.3.2 Incidents Reported to the Police.......................................................... 47
4.3.3 Types of Vandalism Incidents Experienced by Respondents ..............48
4.3.4 V andals Caught ......................................... .. .. .... .. .. ........ .... 49
4.3.5 W ho are the V andals ........................................ .......... .............. 50
4.3.6 Other Steps to Curtail V andalism ...................................... .............. 51
5 CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS......................... ........... 52
5 .1 C o n clu sio n s ........... ....................... ......................................... 5 2
5.2 Recommendations for Homebuilders............... ....... .................... 54
5.3 Recommendations for Future Research .................................................... 55
A SAMPLE COVER LETTER........... .................................. .............. 56
B SA M P L E SU R V E Y ................................................. ..................... .......................57
C SAM PLE SIZE ESTIM ATION TABLE............................................... .... ................ 59
D SPEARM AN'S CORRELATIONS ......................................................... ............... 61
L IST O F R E FE R E N C E S ..................................................................... ....................... 63
BIOGRAPH ICAL SKETCH ....................................................................................... 65
LIST OF TABLES
2-1 Equipm ent theft by type .............. ............................. ................... .............. 5
2-2 Equipment theft frequency by State .................................... .............7
4-1 H ou ses built per y ear............................................................................ 18
4-2 Size of firm and security measures ............................................................... 23
4-3 Average number of measures taken, large firms vs. small firms....................... 23
4-4 Distribution of theft incidents from 1 to 5 ................................... ............. 27
4-5 Loss distributions of theft losses less than 5 thousand................ ................... 29
4-6 Average of theft annual losses per million dollars of work volume; small
firm s vs. large firm s ................. ................. .............. .. .... .......... ..... 30
4-7 Losses resulting from tool theft in past 3 years................................. .............. 30
4-8 Losses resulting from vehicle theft in past 3 years ................... ............. 31
4-9 Losses resulting from off-road equipment theft in past 3 years............................ 31
4-10 Losses resulting from office equipment theft in past 3 years............................. 32
4-11 Losses resulting from material theft in past 3 years........................................... 32
4-12 Other steps taken by the firms to curtail theft......................................................34
4-13 L ayout decisions..................................................... .. .... ..... .. .............. 36
4-14 Deductible amount of the builder's risk insurance............................................... 39
4-15 Size of the firm and measures to prevent tool theft.............................................. 41
4-16 Size of the firm and the average number of measures to secure tool theft ..........43
4-17 Average annual vandalism losses per million dollars of work volume; small
firm s vs. large firm s ................. .............. .................. .... ... .............. 47
LIST OF FIGURES
4-1 Distribution of the companies in the study (N=122)............................................ 17
4-2 Number of housing development areas (N=112)....................................... 19
4-3 W ork Subcontracted (N =128) ...................................... ........................ ........ 20
4-4 Measures to secure individual houses (N=128) ................. ............... .............21
4-5 Firms that employ special measures when projects are located in
neighborhood areas ........................................................ .. ......... ... .... .. 24
4-6 Firms that employ special measures when projects are located in remote areas ..26
4-7 Number of theft incidents in the past three years (N=121)............................... 27
4-8 Companies' estimated total loss of thefts in past three years (N=123)................. 28
4-9 Average of annual theft losses per million dollars of work volume ................... 29
4-10 Frequency of theft incidents by type of loss ................................................... 33
4-11 Average cost of theft losses by type of loss (three year period) ........................... 33
4-12 Percent of thefts reported to the police (N=116).............................................. 36
4-13 Minimum value of loss reported to the police (N=90)................ .................... 37
4-14 Percentage of stolen items recovered ......................................... ..............38
4-15 Measures to prevent tool theft (N=103) ....................................... .............40
4-16 M measures to prevent equipment theft (N=74) .......................................................41
4-17 Other measures to prevent equipment theft (N=26)............................................42
4-18 Company perceptions that on-site workers are involved in thefts (N=101) ......... 43
4-19 Number of vandalism incidents in the past 3 years (N=115).............................45
4-20 Estimated total losses due to vandalism in the past 3 years (N=110) .................46
4-21 Average annual vandalism losses per million dollars of work volume............... 46
4-22 Incidents of vandalism reported to the police (N=108) .............. .. .................47
4-23 V andalism by type (N =76)........................................................................ ..... 48
4-24 Percentage of vandals caught (N=84) .............................................................49
4-25 W ho w ere the vandals (N =51) ...................................................................... .. 50
Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of
Master of Science in Building Construction
JOBSITE SECURITY IN RESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION
Chair: Jimmie Hinze
Cochair: Robert Stroh
Major Department: Building Construction
Construction crime can cost a homebuilder hundreds to thousands of dollars each
year. Theft and vandalism on construction sites is a common problem for the construction
industry. Therefore, securing the jobsite is critical to avoid theft and vandalism. This
thesis presents the effects that theft and vandalism have on the homebuilding industry as
well as the common measures taken by residential contractors in Florida to curtail jobsite
crime. Data for this research were obtained through a mailed survey. The survey
participants consisted of Florida members of the National Association of Home Builders
(NAHB). Based on 128 survey respondents the results of this research show that
construction theft and vandalism incidents are serious problems but they can be
minimized by taking precautionary measures. Most thefts are preventable, and if
precautions are not taken, profits will be adversely impacted. Ignoring the problem does
not only make the problem worse, but encourages criminals to attack again.
A culture of planning and reporting crimes needs to be created among homebuilders in
order to address this problem at the root.
Jobsite crime can be a major problem for construction contractors. Incidents of
theft and vandalism on construction projects cost the industry millions of dollars each
year, and it has been increasing during the past years. For example in 1990, according to
estimates of the Associated General Contractors, an average contractor lost about
$13,000 to theft (November 1990/ the Constructor). In 2001, this amount increased to
$18,500. In addition, Caterpillar, Inc. reported in 1990 that $1.2 billon was lost due to
theft of heavy equipment. This estimated amount increased in 2001 to $1.5 billon nation-
wide. Crime prevention on construction sites has become a major concern for all
responsible contractors. The contractor's ability to effectively control crimes is often the
difference between taking a loss or making a profit on a project.
Crime prevention is the key to avoiding or at least minimizing the problem of
theft on construction jobsites. Losing tools, materials and heavy equipment to theft may
be considered a cost of doing business on a construction site, but taking reasonable
security measures can make the difference between being a frequent target or an
Jobsite crime will never be totally stopped; however, measures can be taken to
make it difficult for criminals to do their jobs. For example, measures can be taken to
make a construction site unattractive to criminals.
No contractor, whether large or small, commercial or residential, is immune from
theft and vandalism. Some builders tend to allow some losses to occur and routinely
absorb these costs while expecting their insurance carrier to cover the remaining costs.
Unfortunately, this approach just harms the contractor in the long run as the insurance
premiums will be increased when a firm has a bad loss history. Tolerating theft can have
a huge adverse impact on theft losses and the profit margin of a firm.
Curbing j obsite crime starts with the development and implementation of a
security plan before the contractor begins to work on a project. In this plan it is essential
to have the collaboration of all the participating parties, including employees and
subcontractors, in order to create an environment that is not conductive to theft
Construction crime is a very damaging type of activity. It affects the general
contractor who loses money through outright expenditures, increased insurance
premiums, increased worker hours, and time lost for the replacement of stolen equipment
and materials. Other parties, as manufacturers, also lose legitimate sales of equipment to
black marketers who sell stolen equipment at very competitive prices. Lastly the project
owner incurs added costs, as these expenditures will be reflected in the total project cost
in the long run.
1.2 Purpose of the Study
Because there is not much information written about this topic, the purpose of this
study is to collect and analyze data that will help to discover the magnitude of losses due
to theft and vandalism and to identify jobsite security measures being implemented by
contractors and/or developers. Ultimately the results of this study are intended to provide
information that will assist contractors in controlling losses from internal and external
theft as well as vandalism.
Theft and vandalism is a serious problem in the construction industry. Losing
equipment, materials, and tools as a result of theft, costs the average contractor thousands
of dollars each year. The total losses from theft and vandalism on construction sites have
increased dramatically over the past decade. With all of the pressures of today's
competitive construction market, the last thing a contractor needs is the added expense of
replacing stolen or damaged property.
According to information from the Associated General Contractors of America,
individual contractors lose an average of $ 18,500 a year in tool theft. Unfortunately,
Rowerdink (1987) found that many builders are oblivious to the problem, and he
estimated that theft adds more than 2 percent to the total cost of construction. In addition,
a spokesman for the National Association of Home Builders, stated, Statistics on theft
and vandalism are hard to nail down because many incidents simply are not reported"
(Security and material control onjobsite 1987). "Many builders accept these losses as
part of doing business while others are accepting losses as an element of production".
The lack of security control to combat these losses indicates that contractors need to
expand their understanding of the problem and to implement practical solutions
According to Sally Pfeffer (2001), "tool theft is a significant issue for
construction companies, and the arrival of sites on the Internet has made the problem
worse." Websites can be used to quickly sell stolen products. This practice is becoming a
Steal-to-Order Business. "A person just has to advertise over the Net that he has
construction equipment for sale, the person looking connects to the buyer, and once he
finds a buyer or like piece of equipment, he steels it, changes the serial number and ships
it. And the person purchasing the equipment doesn't even know it is stolen," Pfeffer
Pfeffer (2001) stated that stolen tools are easy to resell because there is no
standard method for recording or registering serial numbers. In addition, contractors
contribute to this problem because they do not take time to record the serial numbers.
Another target, besides tools, is heavy machinery, such as "bobcats" and tractors.
Denis Taylor and Co, a company that rents larger equipment and operators to many
Atlanta contracting firms, reported that about ten machines were stolen in the past 25
years including two last summer (Jessie Bond 2000). These are expensive losses. Bobcats
cost about $30,000, and crawler loader backhoes cost around $80,000 (see Table 2.1).
Table 2-1: Equipment theft by type
Source NER1/ISO2 October 2001
1 Loader (includes Skid Steer)
3 Backhoe Loader
6 Harvesting Equipment
NER National Equipment Register
2 ISO International Organization for Standardization
A problem with larger construction equipment made by some of the big
manufacturers is that they are keyed alike, making it easy for people in the construction
industry to gain access to them. Thieves typically sell the machines for quick cash, and
buyers put them back to work on other construction sites.
Complete national statistics do not exist, but limited existing figures suggest a
huge problem that it is getting worse. Reports from the Insurance Services Office, Inc.
(ISO) show an annual increase of up to 20% in the value of stolen equipment since 1996.
The report also shows theft as the most common cause of loss of heavy equipment,
representing more than 50% of all causes of loss. Some national surveys have suggested
that the total annual losses could be as high as $1 billion. Heavy losses also result from
indirect costs, such as rentals, downtime, wasted management time and project overrun
penalties. Perhaps the most worrisome statistic for owners and insurers is that as little as
10 to 15% of the stolen equipment is ever recovered (2002 National Equipment Register,
When heavy equipment is stolen from a company, the company not only loses an
expensive piece of machinery, but it experiences lost worker productivity, lost job time,
down time for operators, higher insurance premiums, and the possible cancellation of the
insurance policy, with the accompanying risk of jeopardizing bonding and borrowing
Theft of heavy machinery is well organized, according to supervisory special
agent, Tracey Reinhold, of FBI's major theft transportation crimes unit in Washington.
He claims that thieves "usually have a buyer before they steal something" (Rawl 2000).
Often the heavy equipment thief will set out to steal a specific piece of equipment
that has a specific cash value or for which a buyer as been identified prior to the theft.
The heavy equipment thief usually plans a careful escape. To make such plans, the thief
may show up at a construction site three or four times in one day in order to determine
the contractor's routine and security measures (NUCA May 1986).
The frequency of equipment theft is not uniformly distributed in the United
States. Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Georgia and Illinois seem to be the most frequent
targets for heavy equipment thieves. From 1998 to 2001, Florida has been among the top
five targeted states. However in 2000 and 2001, Florida escalated to the second position
right behind Texas (see Table 2.2).
Table 2-2: Equipment Theft Frequency by State
Source NER/ISO October 2001
Rank 2001 2000 1999 1998
1 Texas Texas Texas Texas
2 Florida Florida North Carolina North Carolina
3 North Carolina North Carolina Georgia Georgia
4 Georgia Georgia Illinois Florida
5 Illinois Illinois Florida California
6 Missouri Indiana Missouri Illinois
7 California Minnesota Indiana Ohio
8 Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Ohio Oklahoma
9 Tennessee Michigan Oregon Indiana
10 Indiana South Carolina Pennsylvania South Carolina
With the construction industry booming, the demand for equipment often exceeds
the supply. Delivery of machines can take as long as three months with little reduction in
the sales price. With this in mind, thieves are cracking into this lucrative market (Rawl
2000). The Federal Bureau of Investigation considers the theft of heavy equipment to be
a crime with one of the highest profits, yet a low risk of detection.
The reward to the thief far outweighs the risks taken. The low recovery rate is a
clear indication of the low risk for a thief. Even if an item is recovered, an arrest may not
be made. When an arrest is made, a conviction may not be secured. Even when a
conviction is secured, the penalty is likely to be light (National Equipment Register, Inc.
A major problem in equipment recovery is the time lapse from the theft to
equipment discovery. If a car theft will be caught, it is usually minutes or hours, after the
crime. An equipment theft occurring on a Friday night might not be discovered until the
following Monday morning. Equipment owners with larger fleets or multi-site operations
might not discover the theft for days, weeks or, in some cases, months. This gives the
thief a 'window' of opportunity as the stolen equipment can often be sold before the theft
is even discovered. Suspicious activity such as moving equipment at a strange time of
day or on ill-suited transport might draw attention but will not raise an alarm if the theft
is still undetected (National Equipment Register, Inc. 2002).
According to J. Danek (2000), recovering stolen equipment is difficult. In some
cases the heavy equipment is being transported overseas in cargo containers that are
marked as containing something else, such as household goods. Also he states that one
reason the thieves can get away with such crimes is that, unlike automobiles, heavy
equipment does not have universal identification numbers, i.e., each manufacturer has its
own system of identification.
In addition to tools and heavy equipment, computers and fax machines, now
common in construction site trailers, have been a target of thieves (Bond 2000). With
computers playing a significant operational role, the theft of a computer can seriously
impact the company's ability to conduct business. What's more, when tools and
machinery are stolen, contractors turn in insurance claims that eventually will cause
insurance premiums to increase.
Another constant concern is vandalism, which has also increased during the past
decade. The reason for this phenomenon is different in nature. According with Susan
McGreevy (1999), construction attorney, the days of union and non-union linked
vandalism are pretty well over. Police statistics indicate that, other than the occasional
disgruntled former employee, the majority of vandalism incidents involve teenagers.
Since these incidents tend to go in strings and the perpetrators are not particularly
sophisticated, prompt reporting to police can be effective in bringing the problem to a
Vandalism ranges from graffiti and putting foreign substances in fuel tanks, to
moving survey markers and using equipment to rip up a job site. These incidents do not
happen all the time, but it's a lot more serious than people realize.
The figures only represent the direct costs of losses. Indirect costs are often
reported to be anywhere from two to ten times more than the direct costs, and these costs
are not paid by insurance but come directly from the victims profits. For instance, if the
competition uses free or cheap tools and equipment, they can bid jobs cheaper and still
maintain their profit margins (The Constructor November 1999).
Most construction equipment insurance policies have a $1,000 or more
deductible, with contractors paying the deductible amount when there is a loss. This
deductible reduces profits. For example, if the profit margin is 5 percent, it takes a
$20,000 contract to pay for a $1,000 loss. If the profit on a ton of asphalt is $20, it takes
50 tons to pay for the loss (The Constructor November 1999).
In summary, staying competitive in the contracting business means controlling
costs. The best solution to this problem lies in taking proper precautions. McGreevy
(1999) stated that the loss prevention professionals say that the biggest single impediment
to controlling theft and vandalism is the attitude of contractors themselves. Allowing
these losses to happen makes the problem worse. Consequently, the answer is the need
for a serious loss-prevention program that will save money for the construction
Limited data exist on the occurrence of theft and vandalism in the construction
industry. This research study was formulated to expand the data currently in existence.
The study began by examining various resources on the subject, including the Internet,
journal articles, newspapers and similar documents. This investigation formed the
literature review and the base of this research.
It was decided that the type of information that was needed could best be obtained
through a mailed survey. Dr. Jimmie Hinze had developed a survey on theft and
vandalism several years ago. The objective of that survey was very similar to the
objective of this research, but it was focused on large commercial construction
contractors. Since the survey was not focused on the homebuilding industry, some
modifications needed to be made to it.
The modified survey, focused on theft and vandalism on homebuilding projects,
was designed to obtain both quantitative and qualitative information. The final survey
contained two types of questions. Most questions solicited a multiple-choice response
that allowed the respondents to simply check an appropriate answer while providing
valuable information about the specific means and methods used to curtail jobsite crime.
Open-ended questions were also asked and these were designed to obtain additional
information about individual methods that contractors use to avoid or minimize theft and
vandalism on their homebuilding sites.
Several iterations of refinements were made to the survey. The final survey
consisted of questions that appeared on two pages. It was felt that a short survey would
yield a higher response rate.
The objective of this research was to determine the magnitude of the problem of
theft and vandalism in the homebuilding community, the approaches been taken to
control these types of losses, and to assess the most effective means of controlling these
The survey was carefully designed to obtain the desired information within a short
amount of time. An informed respondent could complete the survey within ten minutes
without referring to any other data source.
Basically the survey was divided in 3 major sections:
I. Section 1 was designed to obtain information about the company. This part asked
about the annual volume of business of the respondent, and the percentage of
work that was subcontracted to others. Also, it asked about the number of houses
the firm built per year, as well as the number of development sites on which these
houses were built.
This was information sought to establish the context related to the individual
experiences of firms. Smaller companies might employ different types of security
measures than larger companies. In addition, larger companies often possess
more resources, which might allow them to employ different means of job site
security (see survey in Appendix B).
II. Section 2 of the survey pertained to experiences that homebuilders have had with
theft. This included the estimated loss in past years, and the type of incidents that
had occurred. Also, the respondents were asked about information related to
reporting thefts. Additionally, specific questions were asked about measures taken
by the firms to prevent the theft of tools, materials and equipment.
III. Section 3 also consisted of company experiences but these were related to
vandalism. Questions were asked about the measures taken to avoid vandalism, as
well as each firm's experience with this type of crime. This information was
sought to determine the most common type of vandalism incidents that occur on
homebuilding projects, including graffiti, destruction of in-place materials, broken
The geographical scope of the study was limited to the homebuilders in the state of
Florida. Once the survey was in its final version, it was submitted to the Institutional
Review Board (IRB) of the University of Florida for approval.
In order to try to maximize the response rate and to minimize bias in the
responses, a cover letter was developed to encourage potential respondents to participate
in the study. The cover letter introduced the study to the potential respondent and
provided the reader with the benefits of participating in the study. Specifically the
participants were promised a summary report of the research findings if they wanted and
requested one. The general idea was to maximize the response rate, which would reduce
the chance of bias in the study. The cover letter was included in the materials sent for
approval to the IRB. The materials were approved by the IRB with no exceptions being
The sample population consisted of the members of the National Association of
Home Builders (NAHB). The mailing labels of potential participants were obtained from
the NAHB. The labels were acquired through the gracious efforts of Dr Robert Stroh who
has a good working relationship with the NAHB. The complete population of
homebuilders in Florida accounted for approximately 4000 firms.
In order to have viable results, sufficient replies to the survey were needed.
Computations were made to determine the desired number of replies. This number of
replies must be large enough to be scientifically valid. The parameters used to calculate
the sample size or n value is explained below:
Bound error about 5%
Level of confidence = 80%
Standard error for P = 50% or 0.5
Z value according to the standardized normal table = 1.28
Since the value of P for the study was not known, a conservative value of 0.5 or 50% was
Formula: n = Z (squared) x P (1-P)/B (squared)
n = [(1.28 x 1.28) x (0.5 x 0.5) / 0.25] x 100
In summary, 164 was determined to be minimum desired sample size to meet the
requirements for the research objectives (see table in Appendix C).
Based on the estimated sample size, 1700 firms were randomly selected from the
original population of homebuilders. This accounted for 42.5% of the total population in
After the IRB approval was obtained the surveys were sent out with a postage
paid return envelopes. A total of 128 completed surveys were returned. Also received
were 60 undeliverable envelopes representing bad addresses or firms that were no longer
in business. The 128 replies represented approximately an 8% response rate, slightly
lower than originally expected.
The 128 responses were organized and analyzed by using the Statistical Package
for the Social Sciences (SPSS). Many tables and graphs were generated from the analysis
of the information.
The results of this research are presented in three separate sections in order to
clearly present the findings. The first section gives the general characteristics of the
respondents to the study, including such issues as the size of the firms, the average
number of houses completed per year, and the work subcontracted to others. General
information is also provided on ways projects sites are secured.
The second section present findings regarding jobsite theft. This section
incorporates a summary of the theft incidents experienced by the firms in the past years,
the estimated costs incurred due to thefts, and an analysis of the specific measures that
firms use to curtail the theft of material, tools, equipment, etc.
The last section presents the results gathered about construction vandalism. The
information presented shows the effect that vandalism has on the residential construction
industry. This section reveals the most frequent types of vandalism incidents and the most
costly ones for residential contractors, and also includes information on the type of
individuals that are more likely to act as vandals so contractors can take the necessary
4.1 General Information About The Responding Companies.
Based on 122 survey responses, the distribution of the company sizes is presented
in Figure 4.1. This graph shows that more than sixty percent of the survey participants
were companies with an annual dollar volume of work of less than five million. About
twenty percent ranged between five and ten million dollars. The remaining twenty
percent ranged from twenty million dollars to more than $100 million. The findings of
this research represent the responses of primarily small companies. The smallest firm in
the survey had an annual dollar volume of work of $400,000 and the largest company had
an annual work volume of about $130 million. The average volume was $11.44 million
and the median was $4 million.
65 2.5 0.8 0.8 2.5 1.2 0.4 0.8 0.9 1.6
0.4 to 5.1 10.1 20.1 30.1 40.1 50.1 60.1 70.1 80.1 90.1to 100+
5 to10 to20 to30 to40 to50 to 60 to 70 to 80 to 90 100
Annual Dollar Volume of Work in Millions
Figure 4-1 Distribution of the companies in the study (N=122)
4.1.1 Houses completed per year
The number of houses completed per year varied considerably among the
respondents. The average contractor completed about 67 houses per year; however, the
median was twelve houses. Of 117 respondents who provided this information, only one
respondent mentioned that they do not complete any houses because they do only
additions to existing houses. The maximum number of houses per year was reported to be
2000. This accounts for less than 1% of the companies responding to the survey.
About half of the respondents complete ten houses or less per year. This was true
of 58 responses (see Table 4.1). There is a direct relationship between the size of the
company and the number of houses completed per year. The bigger the company, the
more houses it completes in a single year. It is important to mention, however, that the
type of residence (size, design and cost) plays an important role in the number of units
that are completed annually.
Table 4-1 Houses built per year
Houses Frequency Percentage
0 1 0.8
1 to 10 57 48.8
11 to 20 18 15.4
21 to 30 15 12.8
31 to 40 6 5.1
41 to 50 4 3.4
51 to 100 6 5.2
101 to 300 4 3.4
300 + 6 5.1
Total valid answers 117 100
4.1.2 Development sites
Survey participants were asked about the number of construction development
sites. For example, several houses might be built in a single subdivision. Based on 112
responses, firms built houses on an average of 6 development areas (the median was
four). The minimum number of houses on a single development site was one and the
maximum was thirty, with the average number of houses per development was 10.
The analysis shows that of the 112 responses, the most common number of
development areas was between two and five accounting for more than 60% of the
population. The second most common response was between 6 to 10, which accounted
for 17.9% (see Figure 4.2). It is important to note that 8.9% or ten companies reported
building one home in each development site. This indicates that ten companies in the
study are perhaps small firms or that they construct high-end custom homes.
1 2 to 5 6 to 10 11 to 20 21 to 30
Figure 4-2: Number of housing development areas (N= 12)
4.1.3 Percentage subcontracted
The data were examined to determine what percent of the work residential
construction firms typically subcontract. The data indicate that, on average, companies
subcontract 91.12% of the work. The median answer was 100%. This indicates that most
firms subcontract most of their work. Despite this, the minimum percentage
subcontracted was 5% and the maximum was 100%.
According to the findings, a significant number of firms subcontract between 90
to 100 percent of the work; this category accounts for 80.3% of the respondents. The
responses can be broken down as shown in figure 4.3. This includes sixty-five firms that
subcontract all their work, six firms that subcontract 99% and 98% of the work, and 15
firms subcontract 95% and, 17 firms that subcontract 90%. The remaining 32% of the
firms are distributed as shown in Figure 4.3.
50% to 69% 30% to 49% 5% to 29%
4.0% 1.6% 1.6%
70% to 89%
90% to 100%
Figure 4-3 Work subcontracted (N=128)
Further analysis shows that there is no obvious relationship between the size of
the company and the percentage of work subcontracted. Size apparently is not a factor
that impacts the decision to subcontract work. Homebuilders tend to act as managers and
not as builders of the work. This also reduces the chances of added costs due to lost
equipment and tools due tojobsite crime because subcontractors own the equipment.
Nonetheless, this does not help to reduce crime on job sites. On the other hand, the
spearman's correlation (see Appendix D) was used to examine any relationship between
the work subcontracted and the company loses. The findings reveal that firms that
subcontract more percentage of the work have fewer losses due to jobsite crime. In
addition, the more work is subcontracted the less measures need to be used to prevent
tool and equipment theft. The information suggests that to subcontract the work,
homebuilders not only distribute the risk between the subs but also avoid costly loses.
4.1.4 Measures to ensure the security of individual houses
An attempt was made to determine what measures are commonly used by
residential contractors to ensure the security of individual houses. Figure 4.4 shows the
most common methods used by contractors to secure houses being built. Notice that
traditional locksets, warning signs and dead bolts account for the largest percentage. It is
interesting to see that the simplest methods are the most popular. Although inexpensive,
they are simple and may also be effective. On the other hand, security dogs, bars on
windows, and worker badge systems were not used by any of the survey participants.
The employment of guard dogs involves the use of other security measures.
Perhaps this explains their lack of popularity among contractors. Guard dogs require
extra fences, additional warning signs, animal handlers etc. Moreover, dogs cannot
distinguish a thief from a neighborhood naughty kid. Injuries or even death could result
where the contractor might be held legally responsible.
(D 50 44.5
20 17.2 13.3 13.3
1011.7 8.6 7.8 5.5
Mj a) J ,o (D (
E 4-4: Measures to secure individual houses (N=128)
Figure 4-4: Measures to secure individual houses (N=128)
Bars on windows and worker badge systems are not uses by participating
contractors. According to the results, contractors prefer to close windows and door
openings with plywood sheets. Bars on windows visually expose appliances and fixtures
as well as materials stored inside. This can encourage thieves to find other entrances.
Plywood sheets are inexpensive and easy to install and close openings completely.
Figure 4.4 represents all the measures that were specifically asked about in the
survey and their extent of use among contractors. The results imply that simple,
inexpensive, and practical methods are preferred by most homebuilders. More
technological and expensive measures (alarms, cameras, gate guards, etc,) are less likely
to be used by residential contractors. Larger firms may have the needed funds to permit
them to expend money on these measures. Additionally, the results of this research show
that larger companies are more likely to own construction machinery and equipment.
Additional measures to secure sites were given by 7.8% of the contractors. These
include: (1) Putting lock boxes on the doors, and only authorized persons keep the keys;
(2) Parking a van or vehicle on site most of the time to make it look as if someone is
inside; (3) Securing job trailers with security bars over the windows and heavy duty locks
on the doors; (4) Know your neighbors, be nice and help them if you can. It will pay off;
and (5) Just-in-time delivery of materials that reduces the amount of materials left on site.
An analysis was conducted to determine if there was a relationship between the
size of the company and the types of security measures taken. The findings reveal that
some relationships exist. Night guards and alarm systems are measures that are more
commonly employed by the larger firms. Small firms are more likely to remove
equipment from the site (see table 4.2).
Table 4-2: Size of firm and security measures
Measure Frequency Percentage
Large firms ($5M+) 8 14.8%
Small firms (<$5M) 2 2.9%
Large firms ($5M+) 22 40.7%
Small firms (<$5M) 14 20.6%
Remove unused equipment
Large firms ($5M+) 19 35.2%
Small firms (<$5M) 31 45.6%
Smaller companies are more likely to remove their equipment from site while
larger companies have a tendency to protect them on site by using night guards and alarm
Further analysis revealed that larger firms have a tendency to use more security
measures than smaller firms to secure their sites. Large companies use an average of four
different types of measures while the smaller companies use an average of three. Even
though, the difference is only one measure, the correct application of one measure to
protect the site could be the difference between being a easy target or not (see Table 4.3).
Table 4-3: Average number of measures taken, large firms vs. small firms.
Mean N Std Deviation # of measures Significance
Small firms (<$5M) 2.99 77 1.499 3 0.002
Large firms ($5M>) 3.86 51 1.51 4
Note: Differences are statistically significant at p< 0.02 based on ANOVA
4.1.5 Security measures used when projects are located in existing neighborhoods
or remote areas.
Contractors were asked about measures taken when projects are located in
existing neighborhoods. Based on sixty responses, the results show that 46.9 % of the
respondents utilize different measures when projects are located in existing
neighborhoods; the remaining 53.1% of companies do not take any different precautions
(see Figure 4.5). Among the 46.9% of the respondents that use different measures in
existing neighborhoods, a significant number have a common view about the appropriate
measures to use.
no 46.9% 1. Safety is a frequent concern
no53.1% 2. Fences without top rail
3. Neighborhood watch
Figure 4-5: Firms that employ special measures when projects are located in
Safety is a frequent concern when people, especially children, are nearby.
Contractors tend to focus more on removing hazards from the site, building in a safe area,
covering holes and removing debris, etc, than to focus on security problems. To them the
safety issue is more important than the security issue when there are people living around
the site, because a severe injury could result in a lawsuit due to the failure to secure the
Fences are another way of keeping people and kids off the property, yet it is
important to notice that contractors use fencing around the site independent of the size of
the project or the type of neighborhood where the projects are located. Some
neighborhoods are more secure than others and do not require too many security
measures. One respondent suggested that fences should be installed without a top rail
because they are harder to climb. Also, motion sensor lights are effective and
inexpensive. Another company preferred to rely on neighborhood watch and reward
systems. They preferred to talk to neighbors (especially retirees) and pay them a reward
in order to keep an eye on the site. Setting up a neighborhood watch program with other
residents and other commercial establishments in the area helps to reduce losses.
A second variable included in the questionnaire dealt with measures that
contractors take when projects are located in unpopulated areas. Remote units are more
difficult to protect because of their vulnerable location, so it is essential to know the
geographic region and to prepare measures using common sense, as mentioned by one of
the companies. Based on forty-six responses, the results show that 35.9 % of the
respondents take different measures when projects are located in remote areas (see Figure
The respondents that answered this question had some common views about what
they do on projects in remote areas. The replies indicate that contractors primarily use
police patrols, regular visits by themselves, especially on weekends, just-in-time
deliveries, fences, and the minimization of valuables left on site such as materials,
appliances, and power tools.
1. Police patrols
2. Regular visits to the site
3. JIT deliveries
4. Min. of valuables left on site
Figure 4-6: Firms that employ special measures when projects are located in
One respondent suggested that uninstalled appliances should never be left on job
site. Appliances must be installed as soon as they are delivered to the site. Furthermore, it
is important to dispose all the appliance boxes. Do not advertise the domestic devices
being stored or installed by leaving empty delivery boxes around the site with a direct
view to the street.
4.2.1 Company's theft experiences and value of these thefts
Information was sought on the approximate number of theft incidents that the
companies have experienced in the past three years. There were 121 responses. The
findings show that the average firm experienced about eighteen theft incidents over a
period of three years (the median answer was three). This suggests that a company suffers
about six thefts per year. In addition, the minimum number of thefts was 0 and the
maximum was 1000.
According to the findings, a significant number of responding firms have
experienced between one to five incidents. This accounts for 62 % of the respondents.
These responses are broken down, as shown in Table 4.4.
S 0-----^ H---
6.6 3.3 2.5
0 1 to 5 6 to 10 11 to 20 21 to 50 51 +
Figure 4-7: Number of theft incidents in the past three years (N=121)
Eighteen firms, or 14.9% of the respondents, experienced between six and ten
incidents. The third category that comprises eight firms, or 6.6%, experienced between
eleven and twenty incidents. The remainder are distributed as shown in Figure 4.7.
Table 4-4: Distribution of theft incidents from 1 to 5
Number of thefts Frequency Percent
1 19 15.7
2 24 19.8
3 20 16.5
4 7 5.8
5 5 4.2
Total 75 62
One responding company reported a very high history of theft incidents in
comparison with the rest. This company estimated they had had approximately 1000
cases of theft on their construction sites in the past three years. They approximated the
costs of these thefts to be around $180,000 in total losses including hand tools, power
tools, office equipment, and construction materials. According to the survey, this firm
completed about 100 houses per year. They mentioned that they had tried everything to
curtail jobsite theft on their construction sites.
Respondents were asked about the estimated value of these thefts. Based on 123
responses, the company theft losses averaged $10,800 over three years (median of
$1500). In addition, the minimum value of theft incidents reported by the respondents
was $100 and the maximum was $200,000. The company that suffered $200,000 in losses
reported about 100 cases of theft per year. This company was one of the largest in the
study with an annual volume of work exceeding $100 million.
According to the findings, 62.6% of the companies in the study lost between $100
and $5,000 from theft over a three-year period (see Figure 4.8).
31k to 50K 50k +
21k to 30k 1.6% 4.9%none
11 k to 20k
6k to 10K
0.1lk to 5k
Figure 4-8: Companies' estimated total loss of thefts in past three years (N=123)
The results suggest that over a three-year period more than 60% of the residential
contractors in Florida not only experienced one to five incidents of theft but also the cost
of these thefts ranged from $100 to $5,000 dollars. Twenty-six percent of the contractors
experienced more than $5000 in theft losses in a period of three years. Eleven percent
experienced no losses. No construction site is immune to theft and only a small number
of firms have been able to avoid jobsite thefts. The data of firms with theft losses from
$100 to $5000 is broken down in Table 4.5 to provide a better understanding of the
distribution of the losses.
Table 4-5: Loss distributions of theft losses less than 5 thousand
Values of theft Frequency Percentage of
in thousands Responses
0.1 to 1000 29 23.6
1001 to 2000 27 22.0
2001 to 3000 10 8.1
3001 to 4000 4 3.2
4001 to 5000 7 5.7
TOTAL 77 62.6
Losses of theft per million dollar of volume of work were also analyzed. The data
shows that the average company loses about $593 per million dollar of volume of work
per year. Basically, for every thousand dollars a company does in work it will suffer sixty
cents in losses due to theft. The minimum value was $2.78 and the maximum was
$11,666. Figure 4.9 shows the distribution of these losses.
note An additional 17 companies not shown in
the graph experienced losses between $1,000
D Std. Dev= 141 3.39
0 N = 105.00
4 -9 o A g of asi
S '0 '0 0 0 0 '0 0 0 0 '0
Figure 4-9: Average of annual theft losses per million dollars of work volume
In addition, smaller homebuilders in the study seem to lose more money than
smaller firms (per million dollars of work volume). Smaller firms lose an average of
$803.30 while larger firms lose one third of this amount (see Table 4.6).
Table 4-6: Average of theft annual losses per million dollars of work volume; small
firms vs. large firms
Mean N Std Deviation Median Significance
Small firms (<$5M) 803.3 66 1726.04 236.1 0.046
Large firms ($5M+) 236.3 39 404.72 92.59
Note: Differences are statistically significant at p< 0.046 based on ANOVA
4.2.2 Types of incidents experienced.
Information was obtained on the type of incidents and the costs that the firms
have incurred in the past three years. Five types of theft were examined to determine the
items that are the common targets for thieves, namely tools, vehicles, off road equipment,
materials, and office equipment.
The results show that 44.5 % of the respondents have experienced tool losses on
their construction sites. On a three-year period, the costs of these losses averaged $1,997
per firm. The maximum loss reported was $25,000. Table 4.7 shows the responses broken
down by percentages. More than one half of the respondents suffered losses ranging from
$20 to $500. However, 7.14% have experienced losses larger than $5000.
Table 4-7: Losses resulting from tool theft in past 3 years
Tool Cost Number of Percentage of
From $20 to $250 13 23.21
From $256 to $500 16 28.57
From $501 to $1000 7 12.5
From $1001 to $2000 4 7.14
From $2001 to $3000 9 16.07
From $3001 to $5000 3 5.37
More than $5000 4 7.14
Total 56 100
Based on five responses, the results show that 3.1% of the respondents have
experienced licensed vehicles losses in their construction sites. The average cost of these
five incidents was $10,620 over a period of three years. The minimum value of these
losses was $100 and the maximum was $45,000. Table 4.8 shows the responses broken
down by percentages.
Table 4-8: Losses resulting from vehicle theft in past 3 years
Vehicle cost Number of Percentage of
From $100 to $1000 2 40
From $1001 to $2000 1 20
From $2001 to $5000 1 20
More than $5000 1 20
Total 5 100
Three respondents reported that they had off-road equipment stolen from them.
The mean cost in three years of these incidents was $12,000. Homebuilders lost on
average $4000 in off-road equipment per year. The maximum theft loss was $32,000.
Table 4.9 shows the positive responses broken down by percentages.
Table 4-9: Losses resulting from off-road equipment theft in past 3 years
Off road equipment Number of Percentage of
cost Replies Responses
$2,000 2 66.6
$32,000 1 33.3
Total 3 100
Office equipment losses such as computers, printers, faxes etc. and their costs
were analyzed. Based on nine responses, the results indicate that 7% of the respondents
have experienced this type of loss on their construction sites. The average contractor lost
$4,431 in three years. The maximum value of these losses was $10,000 and the minimum
reported was $1000.
Table 4-10: Losses resulting from office equipment theft in past 3 years
Computer, Printers Number of Percentage of
Faxes, cost Replies Responses
$1,000 1 11.1
From $1001 to $2000 2 22.2
From $2001 to $3000 2 22.2
From $3001 to $4000 1 11.1
From $4001 to $5000 1 11.1
More than $5000 2 22.2
Total 9 100
Information was obtained on the theft of construction material along with their
costs. Based on eighty-seven (68%) respondents who had experienced such losses, the
cost was $9,694. In addition, the minimum cost of material theft reported was $10 and
the maximum was $200,000 (see Table 4.11).
It would appear intuitive that vehicle and off-road equipment losses will cost the
firms the largest amount of money, but such losses are not frequent among homebuilders.
Table 4-11: Losses resulting from material theft in past 3 years
Material Number of Percentage of
Cost Replies Responses
From $10 to $100 5 5.8
From $101 to $500 17 19.8
From $501 to $1000 14 16.3
From $1001 to $2000 11 12.5
From $2001 to $3000 9 10.3
From $3001 to $4000 4 4.5
From $4001 to $5000 3 3.4
More than $5000 24 27.3
Total 87 100
Figure 4.10 shows a summary of the most common items stolen on construction
sites. The data reveal that 68% of the firms participating in this study have experienced
loss of construction materials. Hand tools and power tools accounted for 44.5% of all the
incidents involving theft. The remaining types of theft incidents were each experienced
by less than 10% of the respondents.
As shown in Figure 4.10, the major theft problem lies in the theft of construction
materials and tools. This suggests that construction materials and tools are the most
vulnerable items on jobsites, especially when measures are not enforced to protect them
from theft. So residential contractors must pay special attention to these items in order to
cut costs and preserve profits. Although the incidence of thefts of vehicles and off-road
equipment is low, the costs of such thefts are high when they do occur (see Figure 4.11).
7 3.1 1.6
Const Mat. Tools Computer Vehicles Offroad equip
Type of Theft
Figure 4-10: Frequency of theft incidents by type of loss
0 10,620 12,000
Const Mat. Tools Computer Vehicles Offroad equip
Type of loss
Figure 4-11: Average cost of theft losses by type of loss (three year period)
4.2.3 Other measures to curtail jobsite theft
One question in the survey asked about other steps that firms take to curtail
jobsite theft. There were forty-four responses to this question. According to the results, it
is essential to minimize tools and equipment left on site, to supervise the site constantly,
and to have materials delivered when ready to install. Others prefer to talk with neighbors
and offer them rewards to keep an eye on the site. Table 4.12 shows the distribution of
the steps taken by respondents.
Table 4-12: Other steps taken by the firms to curtail theft
Steps taken Frequency Percentage
JIT deliveries and installation 10 22.7
Minimize materials and tools left 8 18.2
Frequent visits 7 15.9
Talk with neighbors 5 11.4
Keep jobsite locked 2 4.5
Maintain lock tool storage 2 4.5
Extra police patrols 2 4.5
Build security gate 2 4.5
Pay subs on time 1 2.3
Know who is on site 1 2.3
Courtesy home for police officer to live in** 1 2.3
Install mobile alarms 1 2.3
Use same subs 1 2.3
Ask subs to report anything strange 1 2.3
Total 44 100.0
**Measure taken by company with an annual volume of work of 80 million.
These findings imply that material and tool control are high priority for
responsible contractors. Organized, clean jobsites, and protected valuable tools and
materials appear to be very important factors for combating theft.
In addition, neighbors can play an important role in avoiding jobsite theft. The
results indicate that contractors talk with neighbors and give them rewards for helping
them to supervise the site during nights and weekends. They are encouraged to call the
local police department in case they see something unusual or suspicious. This is a very
good and simple method that not only prevents jobsite theft but also creates a friendly
environment for the community around the site. By understanding what drives human
behavior, homebuilders can create the conditions necessary to encourage desired
behaviors. Reward systems or a simple and friendly talk with neighbors can help firms
create conditions that encourage people to collaborate for the benefit of the project.
4.2.4 Jobsite Layout
Jobsite layout is important to maximize productivity and to ensure the efficient
flow of work on a project site, but it is also important for the protection of materials and
tools left on site. The survey asked about layout decisions that were designed to reduce
theft. Twelve replies to this question indicate that this form of layout decision is made
primarily with regard to on site materials, trailers, and the dumpsters.
Designating a secure storage area for materials and tools accounts for the largest
percentage (see Table 4.13). Homebuilders secure materials and tools inside selected
homes, garages, or even trucks that can be locked after each work day. One measure that
is used is to assign the material drop areas where they are not in direct view of the street
to avoid theft. However, some have opposite views. For example, when materials are
visible from the road, the work of thieves is more difficult. In addition, visibility not only
makes materials harder to access but also exposes the thief to anyone passing by.
Materials left to the side or rear of housing units are better targets for thieves. Findings
also show that contractors locate their trailers in front of the building site with a direct
view of material storage areas and dumpsters. These measures help to readily detect
Table 4-13: Layout decisions
Layout decisions Frequency Percentage
Designate secure storage area 4 33.3
Keep materials out of sight 3 24.9
One entrance communities 2 16.7
Office trailer location 2 16.7
Dumpster location 1 8.4
Total 12 100
4.2.5 Incidents reported to the police
Information was sought on reporting incidents of theft to the police. One question
in the survey asked what percentage of theft incidents are reported to the police. Based on
116 responses, an average of 64.1% of the thefts are reported. In addition, some made no
theft reports the while others reported every theft that occurred.
According to the findings, 55.2% of the companies in the study report from 75 to
100% of the theft incidents to the local police. However, 22.4% of the companies do not
report any theft incidents (see Figure 4.12).
76% to 100% none
1% to 25%
26% to 50%
51% to 75% 13
Figure 4-12 Percent of thefts reported to the police (N=116)
The second question asked about the minimum value of theft loss that was
reported to the police. Based on ninety responses, the average homebuilder reported a
minimum value of $1570 to the police (the median answer was $300). In addition the
minimum value of theft incidents reported to the police was $1 and the maximum was
The results indicate that 26.6% of the companies in the study reported items
valued between $1 and $100. This accounts for the largest percentage. The findings show
however, that basically about 3% of the firms report only losses exceeding $1000. The
remaining percentages are show in Figure 4.13.
1k+ Any value
$1 to $100
$501 to 1k
$101 to $200
$401 to $500 $201 to $300
22.2% $301 to $400 12.2%
Figure 4-13: Minimum value of loss reported to the police (N=90)
The third question pertaining to this subject asked what percentage of stolen items
are actually recovered. Based on 117 responses, the mean answer was 3.97% (the
median answer was 0%). In addition, two firms reported the recovery of all or 100% of
these stolen items.
The findings show that basically more than 80% of the companies in the study
never recover the items that are stolen from their jobsites. However, 14% recover from
one to ten percent of the stolen items. It is evident that the recovery rate is quite low (see
In summary, these findings reveal that more than half of the participants in this
study report basically all the theft incidents that occur on their jobsites. Also, more than
70% report the loss of items with an estimated value of $500 or less. However, 80% of
the firms never recover their tools and equipment. Consider this: fifty-five homebuilders
out of 100 report pretty much all their theft incidents to the police. Nevertheless, 44 out
of the 55 will never recover the items lost. These are alarming statistics for homebuilders;
for this reason, it is important to attack the problem at the root. A well-planned
prevention program is the key to avoiding losses.
11% to 50% 50%+
1% to 10% 3.4% 1.7%
Figure 4-14: Percentage of stolen items recovered
4.2.6 Deductible on insurance policy
A deductible is the amount of a loss that an insurance policy holder has to pay
out-of-pocket before reimbursement begins in accordance with the insurance policy. The
survey asked the companies about the deductible amount on their builder's risk insurance
policy. Based on 104 responses, the mean deductible amount was $1346 (median of
$1000). In addition, the minimum deductible was $250 and the maximum was $10,000.
Statistics show that most firms in the study have a deductible between $500 and
$1000. This accounts for 75.9 % of the respondents. Thirty-six firms out of 104,
accounting for 34.6% of respondents, state they have a deductible amount of $500. Forty-
three firms (or 41.3%) have a deductible amount of $1000 (see Table 4.14).
Table 4-14: Deductible amount of the builder's risk insurance
Responses Frequency Percent
0 3 2.9
250 5 4.8
300 1 1
500 36 34.6
1,000 43 41.3
1,500 3 2.9
2,500 4 3.8
3,000 1 1
5,000 4 3.8
10,000 4 3.8
Total 104 100
4.2.7 Tool Theft Prevention
Section 4.2.2 revealed that hand and power tools are the primary targets for
thieves, costing the average homebuilder about $500 per year. This segment examined
the measures that residential contractors usually take to reduce hand and power tools theft
in their jobsites. Based on 103 responses, the findings are shown in Figure 4.15, which
show the measures preferred by residential contractor to secure tools.
Minimizing tools left on site accounted for the largest percentage (69.9%) of the
seven types of measures examined on this study. Tools are easy targets for thieves. Tools
get swiped from jobsites, from vehicles, and construction trailers, mostly due to their
y 30 3230
No tool left Worker Mark tools Storage Tool Supervise Other
resp. area inventory trash
Figure 4-15: Measures to prevent tool theft (N=103)
On the other hand, 67% of the respondents affirm that they make workers
responsible for the tools used. When workers take responsibility for a specific item, they
tend to be indirectly motivated to take care of that item. In addition, this responsibility
helps promote personal involvement that probably prevents or at least reduces tool theft.
Marking tools was noted by for 49.5% of the respondents. Marking tools with a
visible and durable mark can make the difference between recovering a stolen tool and
losing it, especially when proving ownership of the tools taken.
It is important to mention that 11.7% of the firms participating in this study use
other measures to secure their tools. Primarily, respondents prefer to hire employees,
workers, and subs who use their own tools.
An additional analysis was done to find the level of significance between the
measures taken and the size of the companies. The findings reveal that minimizing tools
left on site is a common practice of smaller firms. Basically, smaller firms tend to enforce
this measure more than larger firms (see Table 4.15).
Table 4-15: Size of the firm and measures to prevent tool theft.
Measure Frequency Percentage
Minimize tools left
Large firms ($5M>) 20 55.6%
Small firms (<$5M) 47 69.1%
4.2.8 Equipment theft prevention
Equipment theft is a serious and growing problem that costs millions of dollars
each year. Managing heavy equipment theft will be more challenging in the new
millennium, thanks to the new technologically advanced thieves that annually steal
hundreds of vehicles and off-road equipment. A question in the survey asked what
measures firms take to prevent theft of machinery and equipment. Based on seventy-four
responses, the findings are summarized in Figure 4.16.
_ 30 -
Park equip in Other Park in Diff. color Add ID Modify
lighted areas central ignition
Figure 4-16: Measures to prevent equipment theft (N=74)
Figure 4.16 reveals that 50% of the firms participating in this study park their
equipment in well-lighted areas; this measure accounts for the largest percentage. "Other
measures" account for 35.1%. Residential contractors mention that they use heavy
construction equipment locks and chains, private patrols at night (including weekends),
use rental equipment only, or remove equipment from site at the end of the day. Several
firms stated that they that do not own any equipment. For example, the equipment may
belong to the sub-contractors or they rented equipment.
Others confirm that they use tracking devices. Basically, this involves the use of
satellite-based mobile tracking equipment that uses Global Positioning System (GPS) and
embedded cellular technology. The signals produced by the GPS satellites are used to
determine the precise latitude and longitude coordinates, along with the direction and
speed of travel.
Tracking devices 5.5% Remove equip.
5.5% each day
Locks and chains
Do not own equip.
Figure 4-17: Other measures to prevent equipment theft (N=26)
Parking equipment in a central location, using a unique color for the equipment,
adding additional identification on the equipment, and modifying the ignition were other
The number of measures used by large firms and small firms to prevent
equipment and tool thefts were examined. The statistical analysis shows that basically
there are no differences in the number of measures that large and small homebuilders use
to prevent these crimes. Firms no matter their size, use an average of three measures to
prevent tool theft and an average of two measures to prevent equipment theft (see Table
Table 4-16: Size of the firm and the average number of measures to secure tool theft
Tool Theft Equipment theft
Small firms (<$5M) Mean 2.86 1.22
N 69 48
Std. Dev. 1.21 0.90
Median 3.00 1.00
Large firms ($5M>) Mean 2.50 1.26
N 34 26
Std. Dev. 1.30 0.87
Median 2.00 1.00
4.2.9 Workers and theft
Not all thefts are attributed to strangers. The respondents were basically asked
what percentage of thefts in their jobsites are assumed to involve former employees.
Based on 101 responses, the mean answer was 21.3%. This suggests that the average
company thinks that more than twenty percent of their thefts involve former workers. In
addition, the minimum percentage was zero and the maximum was 100%.
0% 1 to 25% 26% to 50% 51% to 75% 76% to 100%
Figure 4-18: Company perceptions that on-site workers are involved in thefts
Figure 4.18 indicates that a significant number of homebuilders in this study have
considerably confidence in their workers. This category accounts for 50.5% of the
respondents that never suspected their workers when thefts occurred on their sites. On the
other hand, 18.8% of the responses believe that workers are responsible for 1 to 25% of
the stolen items. Nearly twenty percent think workers are responsible for 26% to 50% of
jobsite thefts. Finally, 6.9% of the firms assume that workers are responsible for 76% to
100% of theft incidents on site. Further analysis of the data revealed no relationship
between the size of the company and the perception of the identity of the thieves.
4.3.1 Company's vandalism experiences and value of these incidents
Vandalism is a major problem in many areas and adversely affects the
construction community in numerous ways. Repairing damaged property is expensive
and time consuming for residential contractors. A question was asked about the
approximate number of vandalism incidents each respondent had experienced in the past
three years. Based on 115 responses, the average number of vandalism cases in three
years was 9.14 or approximately three vandalism incidents per year. In addition, the
minimum number of incidents was one and the maximum was 700 incidents in three
According to the findings, 44.3 % of the respondents reported no incidents of
vandalism. Also, 13.9% and 8.7% have experienced one and two incidents, respectively
(see Figure 4.19).
One company shows a very high incidence of vandalism in comparison with the
other respondents. This company estimated approximately 700 cases of vandalism on
their construction sites in the past three years. They estimated the cost of these incidents
to be around $50,000 in total losses, including graffiti, broken glass, destruction of in-
place materials and fixtures, and damage to construction equipment. Further analysis
reveals that this company also experienced the highest estimated total loss in theft
11 to 40 40+
6 to 10 5.2% 0.9%
3 to 5 44.3%
Figure 4-19: Number of vandalism incidents in the past 3 years (N=115)
The survey asked about the estimated value of vandalism incidents. Based on 110
responses, the mean answer was $3,767 and the median answer was $300. In addition the
minimum value of these incidents according to the data was $50 and the maximum was
$100,000 in three years.
The company that experienced $100,000 in losses reported about 233 cases of
vandalism per year. According to the findings, 44.5% of the companies in the study had
not experienced any incident over the same period of time. However, 23.7% have
suffered losses that cost between $1 and $1,000 during the same period (see Figure 4.20).
In summary, the graph indicates that approximately 45% of the homebuilders did
not have any vandalism incidents on their jobsites; nevertheless, another 45%
experienced losses estimated at less than $5,000, and the remaining 10% experienced
vandalism losses exceeding $5,000.
5,001 to 10,000
1,001 to 5,000
30,000 30,000 +
1 to 1000
Figure 4-20: Estimated total losses due to vandalism in the past 3 years (N=110)
Losses of vandalism per million dollar of volume were also analyzed. The results
shows that the average homebuilder loses $522 per million of volume of work per year.
The minimum was $3.3 and the maximum $13,333 (see Figure 4.21).
Std. Dev = 1827.89
Mean = 522 0
o %00 % % % %%% %
Figure 4-21: Average annual vandalism losses per million dollars of work
Table 4.17 show that small firms lose more money (per million dollars of work
volume) than large firms due to vandalism. Small firms lose an average of $872.8 while
larger firms lose an average of $58.98 per million dollars of work volume. Note that not
only for vandalism but also for theft (see Section 4.2.1) small homebuilders had
experienced higher losses.
Table 4-17: Average annual vandalism losses per million dollars of work volume; small
firms vs. large firms
Mean N Std Deviation Median Significance
Small firms (<$5M) 872.8 33 2377.88 200 0.093
Large firms ($5M+) 58.89 25 59.81 33.33
Note: Differences are statistically significant at p< 0.093 based on ANOVA
4.3.2 Incidents reported to the police
The survey asked about the number of vandalism incidents that are reported to the
police. Based on 108 responses, the findings show that the firms report an average of
three incidents to the police. The minimum number of vandalism cases reported to the
police according to the data was one and the maximum was 100. It is interesting to note
that the company that estimated 700 cases of vandalism reported only 100 of them to the
16 1 .
0 4.6 4.7
n 3 .7
1 2 3 4 5to10 10+
Number of incidents
Figure 4-22: Incidents of vandalism reported to the police (N=108)
The findings show that 59.3% of the 108 responding companies reported no
incidents of vandalism to the local police. This accounts for the largest percentage of
responses. On the other hand, 14.8% of the companies had reported one incident in the
past three years. 9.3% and 4.6% of the firms had reported two and three cases of
vandalism respectively (see Figure 4.22).
4.3.3 Types of vandalism incidents experienced by respondents
The data was examined to determine the frequency of the types of vandalism acts
in residential construction. Based on seventy-six responses, the results are shown in the
Broken Destruction Grafitti other Damage to Damage to
glass in place mat const. equip vehicles
Figure 4-23: Vandalism by type (N=76)
Figure 4.23 illustrates the most frequent acts of vandalism. "Broken glass"
accounted for the largest percentage, 65.8% of the six types of incidents examined in this
study. "Destruction of in-place materials" accounted for 57.9% of the responses.
"Graffiti" was reported by 40.8% of the respondents.
This analysis includes a category called "other" that accounts for 15.8% of the
respondents. For example, destruction of framed walls, damage to toilets, stolen or
destroyed plans, and driving over graded site work were included in these acts of
Damage to construction equipment and damage to vehicles accounted for 9.2%
and 6.6%, respectively. These incidents are the least likely to happen, according to this
study. In summary, residential contractors not only should pay special attention to
protecting glass in windows, doors, and equipment, but also in-shielding in place
materials and fixtures.
4.3.4 Vandals caught
A question was asked about catching vandals. Based on 84 responses, most
vandals are never caught. The information implies that for the average homebuilder that
experiences vandalism, the vandals are not caught. In addition, the minimum number of
vandals caught by the police according to the data was zero and the maximum was five in
a period of three years.
0 60 -
2.4 1.2 1.2 1.2
Zero One Two Three Four Five
Number of vandals caught
Figure 4-24: Percentage of vandals caught (N=84)
As shown in Figure 4.24, the probability of finding the people responsible for
vandalism acts is very low. The graph shows that nearly 80% of the respondents have
never caught an individual that vandalized their jobsites. On the other hand, the
remaining 20% have had more luck. They have been able to catch between one and five
vandals. However, those statistics are small considering a time period of three years.
4.3.5 Who are the vandals
One issue in the survey attempted to identify those individuals that are most likely
to act as vandals. The survey provided different possibilities from which the respondents
could choose. Based on fifty-one responses, the answers are summarized in Figure 4.25.
S1 9.8 9.8 7.8
Kids Persons/been Strangers Disgruntled Fired workers other
on site workers
Figure 4-25: Who were the vandals (N=51)
As shown in the graph, "kids" are the primary category for those suspected of
being responsible for vandalism acts on residential construction sites. This category
accounts for 72.5% of the responses. "People that have been on site for some reason"
accounts for 23.5% of all responses. "Strangers" comprises 13.7%. Finally, "disgruntled
workers", "fired workers" and "other" accounts for 9.8%, 9.8%, and 7.8%, respectively.
4.3.6 Other steps to curtail vandalism
The last question in the survey asked about other steps firms have taken to curtail
jobsite vandalism. The thirty-nine responding contractors generally stated that they try to
minimize vandalism by locking the doors and windows and by keeping the houses and
sites clean and clear of objects that could be vandalized. Some firms suggest it is a good
idea to use familiar subcontractors, or to use the same team of subs on each job. In this
way they know the other workers on site. Also one contractor prohibits any subs that
have been fired from entering the community. Some contractors stress that it is really
important to make workers on the jobsite feel good about the company, similar to being
part of a family.
Other firms suggested that the neighborhood watch is the best way to keep kids
from damaging a worksite. Meeting and creating a relationship with the neighbors can
stop jobsite crime. Talking to the police and asking them to patrol the site during nights
and weekends is also a measure that is suggested by some homebuilders.
CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
The results of this study reveal the importance ofjobsite security for
homebuilders and highlight the issues affecting security on construction projects. The
findings show that more than sixty percent of the homebuilders participating in the study
were small companies with annual volumes of work ranging from 0.4 to 5 million dollars.
Smaller homebuilders do not generally deal with large amounts of money, and
they do not have large profits so each time they lose money due to jobsite theft it directly
affects their profits. However, larger homebuilders seem to be more concerned about the
problem and the effects that theft and vandalism can have on the way they do business
and the success of the firm. According to the findings larger firms use more security
measures than smaller firms to secure their jobsites. Nevertheless, smaller firms may be
limited by their available financial resources, which limits their ability to apply more
It appears intuitive that the use of more security measures helped larger firms to
minimize their losses due tojobsite crime. On average small firms experienced about 3.4
times more losses due to theft, and 15 times more losses due to vandalism, than larger
firms per million dollar of work volume.
The industry, in general, recognizes that theft and vandalism are growing
problems. Numerous newspaper articles, books, and construction magazine articles
confirm this, however, it is one thing to know that a problem exists and another to deal
Small homebuilders tend to use inexpensive, simple methods to curtail jobsite
crime. For example, the use of traditional locksets, warning signs, dead bolts, and
removing equipment from the site daily, etc. are methods commonly used. Larger firms
use more sophisticated means and methods to protect the site. For example, they tend to
use alarm systems, night guards, tracking devices, security cameras, etc.
The findings reveal that smaller firms are inclined to remove their equipment and
to minimize tools and materials left on site, while larger firms have a tendency to protect
the equipment left on site. This is a clear indication that larger firms use their higher
economic capacity to secure equipment on site by using more sophisticated measures.
This perhaps is due to the fact that larger firms build larger home communities where it is
less costly to protect resources on site than to remove them.
Theft seems to be a bigger problem than vandalism. According to the results,
homebuilding sites are more frequently affected by theft than vandalism. The larger
number of responses about theft losses supports this statement. Also, the costs of theft
losses incurred by homebuilders are higher than vandalism losses. Vandalism costs are
incurred for such actions as broken glass, the destruction of in-place materials, and
graffiti, with neighborhood kids being the primary suspected individuals responsible for
these acts. The results show, however, that these acts happen sporadically on residential
sites. On the other hand, thefts occurred more frequently. Construction materials, tools,
and office equipment are the three most frequent targets. Theft appears to be a greater
problem in the homebuilding industry than vandalism.
As a result, homebuilders have a tendency to take theft more seriously than
vandalism. They tend to report nearly all the cases of theft that occur on their sites. On
the other hand, vandalism reports are significantly lower. It is interesting to note that both
phenomenon have very low resolution rates. So, why is the frequency of theft reporting
by homebuilders higher than the reporting of vandalism cases? The answer could be that
theft is a more damaging and costly phenomena. Losing equipment and construction
materials due to theft can cost thousands of dollars. If the equipment and/or the materials
are gone, the contractor needs to replace them. The homebuilder also loses time,
productivity, and ultimately profits as well.
5.2 Recommendations for Homebuilders
Every year residential contractors lose thousands of dollars due to theft and
vandalism. These losses will never disappear completely, but taking appropriate
precautions can make the difference between a company's success and its failure. For
instance, it is essential that homebuilders inform themselves about the possible dangers
and effects of theft and vandalism so they can be better prepared to protect their
resources. This research yields useful information for contractors. First of all, it is
appropriate that homebuilders report all losses due to vandalism or theft to the local
police department. Failure to report not only does not improve the situation, but also
encourages thieves and vandals to strike again.
In addition, homebuilders should pay special attention to the security of
construction materials on site. Builders should minimize the time that materials are left
on site before installing them and when possible enforce just-in-time deliveries. Also,
they should focus on protecting glass in doors, windows, and equipment, as glass is a
primary target for vandals.
Developing a good relationship with the neighbors has proven to be helpful in
reducing jobsite crime. Use a reward system if possible. The purpose is to create an alert
neighborhood by using simple crime prevention methods. This has several advantages,
including the fact that neighbors will be familiar with the homebuilder, the regular work
times, etc. Cooperative neighbors will alert the police if suspicious activity occurs,
especially during nights and weekends. Finally, it is important that contractors ask
neighbors to help them keep their children out of the work place, explaining to them the
possible dangers. This will also reduce possible acts of vandalism and possible injury to
5.3 Recommendations for Future Research
While the results of this research provide valuable information about theft and
vandalism in the homebuilding industry, further research appears warranted. Since
regional differences cannot be anticipated among homebuilders as it pertains to theft and
vandalism, a nation-wide survey should be conducted. That survey should seek a larger
number of replies by increasing the number of surveys mailed.
Means should be explored to increase the response rate. Future researchers may
consider sending follow up surveys to increase the response rate.
Additionally, it is recommended that future studies focus on different sectors of
the construction industry, including commercial, industrial, high-rise, and civil
construction, in order to have a broader sense of the nature ofjobsite crime in the
SAMPLE COVER LETTER
April 3, 2003
Subject: Survey on Jobsite Security
Dear Home Builder
The M. E. Rinker, Sr. School of Building Construction at the University of Florida is
conducting a study in cooperation with the Florida Homebuilders Association. The focus
of the study is to identify specific practices that are being employed by homebuilders that
pertain security on home-building projects. In this study we are attempting to identify
typical practices and techniques that are related to reducing theft and vandalism.
The short survey questionnaire contains a variety of questions related to jobsite security
in residential construction. If you feel that you are not the appropriate individual to
complete the survey, please forward it to someone who you feel is knowledgeable on the
subject covered. Many of the questions can be answered by simply checking the
applicable answers. There are no risks associated with participating in this study and the
survey can be completed in a few minutes. Naturally, you are asked to answer only those
questions that you feel comfortable in answering.
Results of this study will be compiled and summarized in a report. We will provide the
summary report to you if you want one. Should you have any questions please feel free
to contact me.
Responses provided by specific firms will be kept strictly confidential to the extent
provided by law. Research data will be summarized so that the identity of individual
participants will be concealed. You have my sincere thanks for participating in this
Jimmie HinzeHolland Professor
(352) 392-4697 FAX: (352) 392-9606 Email: hinze(@ufl.edu
P.S. For information about participant rights, please contact the University of Florida
Institutional Review Board at (352) 392-0433 or Email: IRB2@ufl.edu.
About the Company:
What is the annual dollar volume of work of the company? $ million/yr.
Approximately how many houses are completed per year?
On how many different development sites are these houses located?
What percent of the work is typically subcontracted? % subcontracted
What measures are commonly used to ensure the security of individual houses and
construction sites? (Check all that apply)
O traditional locksets I dead bolts
I bars on windows I alarm system
I guard dogs I security cameras
I warning signs posted I remove unused equipment from site
I security fence I exterior lighting on the site
I use worker badge system I station a guard at entry gate
I night security guard on site D police patrols
I other, describe:
What does the firm do differently in terms ofjobsite security when projects are located in existing
neighborhoods (children and teens are nearby)?
What does the firm do differently in terms ofjobsite security when projects are located in areas
where there are currently no inhabitants?
In the past 3 years, what has the company experienced in terms of incidents of theft?
Approximate number of theft incidents in past 3 years:
Estimated total loss of these thefts: $
How many of the following types of theft incidents has the firm experienced in the past 3 years?
tools (hand tools and power tools), Value of Loss = $
licensed vehicles, Value of Loss = $
off-road equipment, Value of Loss = $
computers, printers, copiers, etc. Value of Loss = $
construction materials, Value of Loss = $
What other steps, if any, does your firm take to curtail jobsite theft?
If applicable, give an example of ajobsite layout decision that has been used to discourage theft.
What percent of the theft incidents are reported to the police? %
What is the minimum value of a theft loss that is reported to the police? $
What is the deductible amount on the firm's builder's risk insurance policy? $
What percent of the theft incidents are the stolen items actually recovered? %
What measures are commonly used to prevent theft of tools? (1 all that apply)
D maintain tool inventory D mark tools
I maintain secure storage area 0 supervise trash removal from site
I minimize tools left on site I make workers responsible for tools
I other, describe:
What measures does the firm take to prevent theft of machinery and equipment? (1 all that apply)
D park equipment in well-lighted areas at night
I modify ignition or fuel lines to make it difficult for others to start the engine
I include additional identification on the equipment
I use a distinctive color for the equipment
I park the equipment at a central location at the end of each day
I other, describe:
What percent of jobsite thefts on your projects are assumed to involve employees or former
In the past 3 years, what has the company experienced in terms of incidents of vandalism?
Number of vandalism incidents in past 3 years:
Total estimated loss due to vandalism: $
Number of vandalism incidents that were reported to the police?
How many of the following types of vandalism incidents did the firm experience in the past 5
destruction of in-place materials, fixtures, or appliances
damage to vehicles
damage to construction equipment
For how many instances of vandalism in the past 3 years were the vandals on your firm's projects
If known, who were the vandals? (Check all that apply)
I disgruntled workers I workers who had been fired
I strangers D persons who had been on the site for some reason
D neighborhood kids I other:
What other steps, if any, does your firm take to curtail vandalism?
Thank you for your assistance in completing this survey. This information will be most helpful
SAMPLE SIZE ESTIMATION TABLE
Confidence level 80% 90% 95% 99%
Z value 1.28 1.64 1.96 2.59
Estimate interval (Delta) 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.01
(p) (q) Sample size
0.5 0.5 4096 6724 9604 16770
0.4 0.6 3932 6455 9220 16099
0.3 0.7 3441 5648 8067 14087
0.2 0.8 2621 4303 6147 10733
0.1 0.9 1475 2421 3457 6037
Confidence level 80% 90% 95% 99%
Z value 1.28 1.64 1.96 2.59
Estimate interval (Delta) 0.02 0.02 0.02 0.02
(p) (q) Sample size
0.5 0.5 1024 1681 2401 4193
0.4 0.6 983 1614 2305 4025
0.3 0.7 860 1412 2017 3522
0.2 0.8 655 1076 1537 2683
0.1 0.9 369 605 864 1509
Confidence level 80% 90% 95% 99%
Z value 1.28 1.64 1.96 2.59
Estimate interval (Delta) 0.03 0.03 0.03 0.03
(p) (q) Sample size
0.5 0.5 455 747 1067 1863
0.4 0.6 437 717 1024 1789
0.3 0.7 382 628 896 1565
0.2 0.8 291 478 683 1193
0.1 0.9 164 269 384 671
Confidence level 80% 90% 95% 99%
Z value 1.28 1.64 1.96 2.59
Estimate interval (Delta) 0.04 0.04 0.04 0.04
(p) (q) Sample size
0.5 0.5 256 420 600 1048
0.4 0.6 246 403 576 1006
0.3 0.7 215 353 504 880
0.2 0.8 164 269 384 671
0.1 0.9 92 151 216 377
Confidence level 80% 90% 95% 99%
Z value 1.28 1.64 1.96 2.59
Estimate interval (Delta) 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.01
(p) (q) Sample size
0.5 0.5 164 269 384 671
0.4 0.6 157 258 369 644
0.3 0.7 138 226 323 563
0.2 0.8 105 172 246 429
0.1 0.9 59 97 138 241
Ref: Ostle & Malone (1988) Statistics in Research, Chapter 17.4 & 17.12
SPEARMAN' S CORRELATIONS
Theft loss per
Vand loss per
Volume n Number of
V i construction
Theft loss per
Coefficient 1 .225(**) .207(*) -.158(*)
Sig. (1-tailed) 0.009 0.011 0.043
N 122 109 122 119
Coefficient .225(**) 1 0.03 0.109
Sig. (1-tailed) 0.009 .0.377 0.132
N 109 112 112 107
Coefficient .207(*) 0.03 1 -.195(*)
Sig. (1-tailed) 0.011 0.377 0.017
N 122 112 128 119
Coefficient -.158(*) 0.109 -.195(*) 1
Sig. (1-tailed) 0.043 0.132 0.017
N 119 107 119 119
Coefficient 0.035 .197(*) -0.062 .489(**)
Sig. (1-tailed) 0.362 0.028 0.262 0
N 106 94 107 103
Coefficient .168(*) -0.068 -0.043 0.052
Sig. (1-tailed) 0.032 0.238 0.315 0.288
N 122 112 128 119
Coefficient -.211(*) -0.095 -.407(**) 0.112
Sig. (1-tailed) 0.019 0.19 0 0.142
N 97 87 103 94
Coefficient -0.03 0.117 -.263(*) 0.187
Sig. (1-tailed) 0.401 0.18 0.012 0.062
** Correlation is significant at the .01 level (1-tailed).
* Correlation is significant at the .05 level (1-tailed).
Theft loss per
Vand loss per
Vand loss per
Coefficient .168(*) -.211(*) -0.03 0.035
Sig. (1-tailed) 0.032 0.019 0.401 0.362
N 122 97 70 106
Coefficient -0.068 -0.095 0.117 .197(*)
Sig. (1-tailed) 0.238 0.19 0.18 0.028
N 112 87 63 94
Coefficient -0.043 -.407(**) -.263(*) -0.062
Sig. (1-tailed) 0.315 0 0.012 0.262
N 128 103 74 107
Coefficient 0.052 0.112 0.187 .489(**)
Sig. (1-tailed) 0.288 0.142 0.062 0
N 119 94 69 103
Coefficient 0.003 -0.14 -0.04 1
Sig. (1-tailed) 0.489 0.094 0.378
N 107 90 63 107
Coefficient 1 .170(*) 0.067 0.003
Sig. (1-tailed) 0.043 0.284 0.489
N 128 103 74 107
Coefficient .170(*) 1 .228(*) -0.14
Sig. (1-tailed) 0.043 0.03 0.094
N 103 103 69 90
Coefficient 0.067 .228(*) 1 -0.04
Sig. (1-tailed) 0.284 0.03 0.378
** Correlation is significant at the .01 level (1-tailed).
* Correlation is significant at the .05 level (1-tailed).
LIST OF REFERENCES
A Billion here and a billion there, The Constructor, Nov 1999, Vol. 81, No. 11,
www.agc.org/NewsBulletins/Constructor Nov_1999/nov99_page2.asp, (accessed
Bond, J., Contractors protect tools and equipment from theft, Atlanta Business Chronicle,
Combating jobsite equipment theft, NUCA, May 1986, Vol. 10, No. 5, p.20
Danek, S., No construction site is immune from theft, Denver Business Journal; Sept 29
2000, Vol.52, No. 7, p.20B.
Danek, S., Building-site theft increasing, Raleigh, NC, Triangle Business Journal; Sept
15 2000, Vol.16, No.3, p.25.
Gosnell, R. S., Contractors should build loss prevention plans, Best's Review Property-
Casualty Insurance Edition; July 1996, Vol.97, No.3, p.84.
McGreevy S., Theft and vandalism: How to protect yourself, The Contractor; Nov 1999,
Vol.46, No. 11, p.46.
Law Reform Commission of Canada, Damage to property: vandalism, Ottawa, Canada,
The Commission, 1984.
Ostle, B., and Malone, L., Statistics in Research, Nov 1987, Iowa State University Press,
The Problem of heavy equipment, National Equipment Register 2002, www.nerusa.com,
(accessed November 2002).
Pfeffer, S., Mark tools to cut theft at construction sites, Buffalo Business First, July 2001.
Rawl, J., Theft Prevention, Heavy Equipment News, March 2000, Vol. 13, No. 6, p.36.
Rowerdink R., Security and material controls on the job site, Washington, National
Association of Home Builders, 1987.
Stahl,A.L., Juvenile vandalism, Washington, DC, Office of Justice Programs, Office of
Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 2000.
Somerville L.S., Theft, vandalism a constant concern, Raleigh, NC, Journal June 15
2001, Vol.16, No.42, p.35.
Wilson, S., Sturman, A., and Gladstone, F. J., Tackling vandalism, London: H.M.
Stationery Off., 1978.
Francisco Montealegre was born in October 17, 1976, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, to
Dalila Castillo and Franco Montealegre. He has a younger sister, Dalila, and a younger
brother, Eugenio. He graduated from high school in December 1995 and started his
college career at the National University of Engineering in Managua, Nicaragua. He
graduated with a bachelor degree of architecture in May of 1999. After Francisco
graduated, he traveled to the USA to continue his education. In 2001 he was accepted by
the University of Florida to pursue a Master of Science in Building Construction. After
graduating from UF, Francisco plans to undertake a career in construction management
with an interest in project management. The next goal will be to become a licensed
architect and contractor.