by Victor Lopez
MIDLAND - You can't exactly say there's a housing shortage in the Tall City.
On Midland's northwest side, you'll literally find houses in all phases of construction all over the place.
But the contractors and the construction crews aren't the only ones raking in the profits from these new home sites.
"They pulled back a temporary wall that we had and got in and started taking everything. We figure it was close to 4,000 dollars that we lost in hand tools and tools, compressors," one local plumber, who didn't want his identity to be revealed, said.
He's been in the construction business a long time, but he never thought this could ever happen to him.
"I've been in construction for 17 years. I've always heard, someone will get stuff stolen or something like that, but I'd never been, at that time. Now, once I went out on my own, in the last five years, that's happened to me," he said.
He's been hit twice in the last year alone, and you would be surprised who he says is taking his stuff.
"A lot of times, it's people that work for you, by the day. They come out and they work, but they also make a shopping list," he said.
On the construction sites, there's really no kind of security system to speak of, so for people in the business they go on a kind of honor code.
"If we get on a job site and we know everybody, we know we can leave our stuff there. If you start going on a job or you work for a new guy or you're the new guy, most of the people will pick up their stuff," he said.
Unfortunately, more often than not victims of these types of theft rarely see their equipment again, and it's the thief who makes out with extra cash in their pockets.
"If it's just random like that, you won't get anything back. They'll just sell it to whoever offers them whatever," he said.
Despite the fact that he's been a victim, this business man says, he's not throwing in the towel.
"You do what you do; it's hard to change something you've been doing for so long. You just kind of roll with what comes at you, ya know?" he said.
Some contractors are putting in security measures to help fight theft on their job sites. According to the gentleman we spoke to, they try to keep their equipment out of plain sight, because if a thief can't see it, then they really don't want it.