Construction site thefts hurting Booker T Washington community

Builder has thefts slowing progress on affordable housing
Builder has thefts slowing progress on affordable housing(KNOE)
Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 8:01 PM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - The pandemic is now hurting the construction business. A local builder says thieves are stealing supplies from his work sites, and he blames it on the rising cost of supplies due to the COVID pandemic.

Ronny Traylor says thieves are breaking into many of his homes under construction in the Booker T Washington area which he’s trying to help revitalize.

He says he wants to give back to the area where he grew up and his mom still lives.

“My goal has been to build 20 low-income houses for deserving residents who need somewhere nice to stay,” says Ronnie Traylor, owner of RL Traylor Enterprises, LLC Construction.

“The problem that we’re having is we’re getting vandalized and broken into every single house that we start,” says Traylor.

He thinks the rising costs of supplies due to the pandemic are a driving force behind the theft. In one case someone threw a brick through a window and stole sink faucets, lighting fixtures, water heaters, and heating units.

In all, he has lost over $5,000 from his sites from the thefts.

But Traylor says he’ll continue the work because he believes in the area.

“I wanted to come back to my neighborhood that I grew up in that I know and love so well and try to build it back up to what it was when I was living here out at Booker T.”

“Every neighborhood there are some bad apples, and that is what we’re dealing with right now.”

Traylor says he installed cameras and hopes to identify the thieves.

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