Thief caught on camera stealing appliances from Carmel construction sites

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CARMEL, Ind. — Carmel police are asking for the public’s help to catch a thief they say stole several appliances from a construction site.

The suspect got away with washers, dryers and stoves, but did leave one big clue behind: video evidence. Investigators also believe the same suspect has ripped off multiple locations.

Unfortunately, this sort of crime happens all day, every day, all over the metro area. Just north of downtown this week, contractors got an unwelcome visit from thieves.

“They got several tools and ladders, as well as electrical materials and plumbing materials. Probably $4,000-$5,000 worth,” said home builder Neal Weliever.

Weliever runs a small company that remodels homes around Indianapolis.

He says the suspects in his case broke into the empty house by ripping the back doors right off the hinges.

“This was the location they came in we believe. They tied a rope and tore the French doors out backward. They did quite a bit of damage to our door and stole quite a bit of our stuff,” said Weliever.

He isn’t alone.  At a large construction site in Carmel near 96th and Westfield boulevard, Carmel police say a suspect stole brand new appliances including washers, dryers and stoves out of the homes under construction.

Surveillance cameras caught a picture of the suspect’s Ford SUV with a large dent on the passenger side.

The cost of thefts from construction sites really adds up. A recent study estimated that over a billion dollars is stolen from construction sites every year across the country.  The same study found that 92 percent of construction companies report being regularly hit by thieves, with 21 percent saying they get hit on a weekly basis

“We’ve had several homes get hit.  It’s happened to us several times before,” said Weliever.

Neal says everyone that builds homes knows thefts are an everyday hazard, but it doesn’t make the break-ins any less aggravating.

“You know it’s frustrating when you try to rebuild the area and make things nice.  I know the neighbors appreciate it and then to have petty theft like this is frustrating,” said Weliever.

The suspect in the Carmel theft also had some sort of decorative license plate attached to the front bumper.

Anyone with information on the suspect in either case is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS.

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