New Albany News

Police beat

New Albany: Officers expecting uptick in construction thefts

Construction sites often pose a problem for police, especially when the weather warms, said interim New Albany Police Chief Greg Jones.

"It's not so much about the season as it is the amount of construction," Jones said. "(Theft from construction sites) gears up in better weather."

New Albany police are investigating the theft of an air-conditioning unit valued at $3,000 from a home under construction in the 8000 block of Scarborough Drive.

The refrigeration line to the unit was cut and removed between 2 p.m. April 6 and 9 a.m. April 8. The incident was reported to police April 10.

Jones said the New Albany Police Department often alerts contractors if there is a problem with thefts in a certain area and third-shift officers regularly patrol construction sites after hours, checking with workers to make sure they are supposed to be on the site in the evening.

"If it seems odd, particularly after hours, the officer will verify that the workers have permission to be there," Jones said.

One of the problems in finding the thieves, Jones said, is that the suspects often are members of a crew that's worked on the site.

"A lot of times you'll have one crew working on one trade at a location," Jones said. "They leave and another company or another trade comes in and the theft is occurring while they are working on the site.

"In situations like that, it makes it difficult to prevent when it's all happening within the construction site."

According to police reports, several different companies were working at the Scarborough Drive site when the theft occurred.

In other recent incident reports from the New Albany Police Department:

* A 38-year-old woman was arrested for OVI, failure to drive in marked lanes and open container at 3:05 a.m. April 6 on state Route 605 south of Walnut Street.

* A 21-year-old man was arrested for OVI, failure to drive in marked lanes, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia at 3:19 a.m. April 6 on Audley Road.