AUSTIN (KXAN) — An Austin construction company is offering a $2,500 reward to anyone who can help track down burglars who the owner says stole tens of thousands of dollars in materials from one of its work sites.
Evelyn Poplin, Marketing Director for Motivado Group says the burglars cut the fence around the company’s work site on Banister Lane in south Austin Saturday evening, then used the company’s forklift to load the materials onto a truck.
“They were very bold. It was in broad daylight,” Poplin said. “They lopped open the gate with a big pair of bolt cutters and entered our property with their getaway vehicle.”
Video captured by the company’s Ring camera shows the burglars loading up the supplies over a span of about 18 minutes. Poplin says they even used a standard key for construction equipment to utilize the company’s forklift in the heist.
“They were very quick. They were organized,” she said, “And it’s obvious that it wasn’t the first time.
In fact, Poplin says when the company’s owner called their supplier to order replacement materials, the supplier had heard of a similar theft.
“The supplier coincidentally had been supplying another project in north Austin that had been hit four times in one day, and they stole close to $100,000 worth of materials from that project,” Poplin said.
When Motivado Group reached out to that contractor, it shared surveillance photos that look like a match to the truck and people in Motivado Group’s video.
Poplin says when her company posted the pictures and videos to social media, others could relate.
“There’s been others that have also stated that they’ve been robbed ,” she said.
The Austin Police Department says construction site thefts aren’t uncommon.
Motivado Group’s Ring camera remotely notified the site’s superintendent of the movement when the thieves broke into the site, and the company called 911 shortly after.
APD is investigating and has sent out an alert to officers citywide to be on the lookout for the truck seen in the video.
The truck looks like an old HEB delivery truck with the number “32” on the cab.
Motivado Group is offering a 25-hundred-dollar to reward to anyone who might recognize that truck or the people in the video and can help lead police to an arrest.
The construction group has since added extra security cameras that would capture the truck’s license plate if the thieves come back. The company is also adding 24/7 security to all of its job sites, even in the earliest phases of construction when projects don’t usually have site security.