Saskatoon lumber store owner wary of theft as lumber prices surge
SASKATOON -- The owner of Burron Lumber says in his 45 years in the lumber business he’s seen certain trends but never anything like this.
Bob Burron says he’s heard of lumber thefts from suppliers and how they’re starting to put chain link fences around their project to keep people out.
“Anytime there’s a drastic price increase or a product is critical in the supply chain, you’re gonna have theft,” Burron told CTV News.
According to numbers released by Statistics Canada on Thursday, the price of lumber has gone up each year but jumped more than 118 per cent in the last year.
“We have been extremely stressing with the customers. Don’t leave material laying around when we deliver it, we now want people to be there when we deliver it so they can put it in their garage or lock it up.”
Burron says that it’s not just the rise in the price of lumber that creates thefts, but limited products in the supply chain.
“The product is not available, people are getting desperate, contractors might have to finish the job in order to be paid.”
On Thursday, Saskatoon police seized a suspicious van carrying almost a thousand dollars in lumber.
Cst. Derek Chesney tweeted pictures of the seized lumber calling it a “commodity in this day and age” and telling contractors to beware.
Nick Sackville with Big Block Construction says modular construction is a factor in why they haven’t seen thefts recently.
“What that means is most of the work that happens is actually not on a site here, it actually takes place in a factory.”
He says modular construction minimizes the amount of deliveries made to the work site and storage to mitigate the issue.
“Keeping on that kind of ‘just in time’ material delivery model and not stockpiling so much material is a great way to minimize that risk.”