Tools worth €21.5k are stolen every day
More than €21,500 worth of construction tools and equipment are stolen every day in Ireland.
The rate of thefts soared by 35pc last year, with the impact of construction crime now even threatening the ability to deliver on ambitious house building targets.
Of the €7.8m worth of items stolen from construction sites across Ireland last year, €6.3m was accounted for by high-value power tool thefts.
Thefts from vehicles now make up 43pc of construction crime, of which there were 4,562 incidents reported last year.
Dublin has been particularly badly hit by targeted construction thefts.
The warning came as gardai and the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) launched a special initiative to help workers and site managers protect property and avail of the free advice of garda crime prevention officers.
CIF director Tom Parlon warned that a crime which deprived a construction worker of specialist tools essentially strips them of their livelihood and ability to work.
"The thefts can range from €50 for a single tool right up to €50,000 for an expensive piece of machinery which is stolen for the black market overseas," he said.
Mr Parlon said the CIF was working closely with gardai to make it as hard as possible for thieves to target construction sites and workers.
"We are sending out the message to the 130,000 workers in the industry that if you secure it, you keep it," he added.
Chief Supt Con Cadogan has urged workers to carefully mark or engrave their tools and equipment, to seek the free advice of crime prevention officers and to adhere to all site security recommendations.
Gardai are monitoring car boot sales, online marketplaces and other outlets from which stolen tools can be disposed.
"The message we want to get across is that a tool or a piece of machinery is no good to a thief if they can't sell it on," Chief Supt Cadogan said.
"But we also want to make it as difficult as possible for them in the first place to attempt to steal it."