‘$2,000 worth of tools’: Construction site thefts rampant in NC city

North Carolina news

GASTONIA, N.C. (WJZY) – Construction site thefts are becoming rampant in Gastonia.

As the area continues to expand and build, thieves are taking advantage.

“It’s just not the way to treat other people,” said real estate investor and Coach Matthew Rand.

Rand has a company, Charlotte Real Estate Investing Education Network, where he coaches people on how to become a real estate investor.

Over the weekend, though, two of his properties were vandalized by thieves.

“Not a great thing to wake up to Monday morning,” Rand said.

Someone had broken into a home he’s renovating and stole several tools that had been locked up by his contractor.

“Guessing it was about $1,500 to $2,000 worth of tools,” Rand said.

Things like saws, compressors, and nail guns.

“They kicked in a door that was nailed shut,” he said.

Across town, an air conditioning unit at another one of his properties was stripped and vandalized.

“I have no idea if they’re connected or not,” he said.

“In most cases, they aren’t related,” said Gastonia Police Department’s Rick Goodale. “Thieves just see a certain situation and take advantage of it.”

It’s an ongoing problem in the growing City of Gastonia.

“When you have a lot of growth and building going on, especially with high-valued materials, it makes for an easy and attractive target for thieves,” Goodale said.

As for Matthew Rand, he just hopes the thieves are caught before they strike again.

“We’re cleaning this place up,” he said. “And the forces that want to keep it down, they want to fight that.”

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