Search continues for suspects in roofing material thefts

Thieves stealing roofing materials from work sites.
Thieves stealing roofing materials from work sites.(WWSB)
Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 3:18 PM EDT
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NOKOMIS, Fla. (WWSB) - Surveillance video from a site in Hillsborough County shows roofing materials being hauled off and stolen. Another video shows one of the suspects who may be behind a string of similar thefts.

Bob Beckner is the owner of Green Roofing in Nokomis. He says a few weeks ago he had a robot welder stolen from a work site in Pasco County, as well as thermoplastic material known as TPO. The cost of the stolen materials averaged close to $30,000.

“Taking a man’s livelihood is a pretty lowly thing to do,” said Beckner. “If they were stealing for food that would be one thing, but they’re just stealing for greed or drugs or whatever it is.”

Joshua Brown is President of the Manatee Sarasota Roofing Association. Brown tells ABC7 that unfortunately stealing roofing materials and trailers from work sites has been a big issue, especially over the last few weeks. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in materials has been stolen just recently.

“Roofers know what’s going on, they’re paying attention,” said Brown. “It’s out of their control, you can’t watch something 24 hours a day, but if you see something suspicious or if someone is coming by trying to sell you material, call it in.”

Beckner says equipment insurance helped with the robot but everything else is a loss. He says the last few years have been rough for roofers, and this makes it even harder.

“We just want it stopped. We’re just trying to make a living with all these supply chain issues that have been going on,” said Beckner. “It’s hard enough with the expense with logistics and material going up.”

Beckner has a message for those responsible for this string of thefts, they will be found.

“Pretty upsetting, but getting upset doesn’t really fix the problem,” said Beckner. “So we’re working together to find these people one way or another.”

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